“Gandalf! I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself. Is everything sad going to come untrue? What has happened to the world?”
-Samwise Gamgee(The Return of the King, J. R. R. Tolkien)
I first read this line a few years ago and when I did I began to weep. It is such a beautiful picture of what I have gone through(and am continuing to experience) and what Christ has done for us. If you have been following my blog you know that I have come out of a lot of junk. Depression and torment plagued me most of my life. When I began to experience freedom it was like a whole new world was opened up to me.
When I began to experience freedom it was as if all the things that I had been through, all the things that had been tormenting me, and all of the depressions I had been experiencing had never happened! Literally everything sad was coming untrue! It was incredible! I soon discovered that what I was experiencing was not specific to me but was, in fact, the promise of scripture!
1I looked again and could hardly believe my eyes. Everything above me was new. Everything below me was new. Everything around me was new because the heaven and earth that had been passed away, and the sea was gone, completely. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride on her wedding day, adorned for her husband and for His eyes only. 3 And I heard a great voice, coming from the throne.
A Voice: See, the home of God is with His people.
He will live among them;
They will be His people,
And God Himself will be with them.
4 The prophecies are fulfilled:
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.[a]
Death will be no more;
Mourning no more, crying no more, pain no more,
For the first things have gone away.
5 And the One who sat on the throne announced to His creation,
The One: See, I am making all things new. (turning to me) Write what you hear and see, for these words are faithful and true.
Now before we go any further I feel that this passage of scripture needs some explanation. It is commonly taught that the book of Revelation is speaking about the end of the world and that all of the events detailed in the book are prophecies of things to come. I believe this is inaccurate.
There are many scholars that believe, as do I, that the book of Revelation is talking about the life of Jesus and the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.* Along with the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D 70 where the last remnants of the old covenant, that God made with Moses, were destroyed. This is what the author is referring to when he talks about “the heaven and earth that had been passed away.” It is important to note here that the Jews of this period referred to the temple as heaven and earth. The temple was where God resided and heaven literally met earth. Also if you look into the imagery and symbolism of the temple it was set up to look like a microcosm of the universe. When it was destroyed heaven and earth passed away. With this in mind, let us look at the main topic of this passage, “the new Jerusalem.”
The new Jerusalem is a symbol for the new covenant that was established through Jesus. We are included in this covenant through our union with Christ! 1 Corinthians 6:17 talks about this union:
But when you are joined with the Lord, you become one spirit with Him.(VOICE)
Galatians 2:20 tells us that we are joined with the Lord through His crucifixion:
I have been crucified with the Anointed One—I am no longer alive—but the Anointed is living in me; and whatever life I have left in this failing body I live by the faithfulness of God’s Son, the One who loves me and gave His body on the cross for me.(VOICE)
The passage in Revelation(starting in verse 3) continues by outlining the benefits of this new covenant. This is the reality that we now live in! God dwells here with us, in fact, He dwells in us! We are His people! He is wiping away every tear and making all things new! He is literally causing everything sad to come untrue!
Now you may have noticed a problem. Most of us are not experiencing the benefits that are outlined here. There are so many of us that are living with depression, illness, and all manner of death-producing circumstances. If this scripture is indeed talking about the reality that we now live in why are people still dealing with these things?
I think that the main reason that people are still dealing with these things is that they have not been told what is available to them. I know that this was a new concept for me. I had never been told that I could be set free from depression, that God wanted to see me set free from depression or even that He had made provision for me to be set free from depression! Grabbing ahold of this truth alone produced a major change in my life. It was after hearing and believing this and that God loved me that I felt empowered to go off my medication as I talked about in my last post. While this was huge for me I was still battling depression, that was until I was introduced to the concept of mind renewal.
Paul tells us in Romans 12:2 to be”transformed by the renewing of our minds.” For me, this has taken the form of calling certain memories of offences, trauma, and pain to mind and letting God reveal to me lies that I was believing about himself, myself, or the situation and then allowing Him to show me where He was in the situation and to speak truth about Himself and my identity to me. This has been incredibly transformative in my own life.
The point I am trying to make here is that it doesn’t matter what you are going through or what situation you find yourself in He is right there with you. He loves you so much! He doesn’t want to see you in pain He wants to see you set free from the pain! He wants to make everything in your life that is sad come untrue, and I know that He will do that for you just like he has done for me!
*If you want to learn more about this somewhat controversial view, I would encourage you to check out Johnathan Welton’s book Raptureless where he covers all of this in detail.