I was reading this morning about when heaven and earth won’t exist anymore, and there’ll be a new heaven and a new earth, and followers of Jesus will live with God in the holy city (called the new Jerusalem). You’ll find it in Revelation 21, and it was this description of the new Jerusalem that caught my attention:
“The city was laid out like a square … The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst” – Revelation 21:16, 19-20.
As a blind person, I have to admit I don’t know too much about colours, but I’m told jasper is usually red, carnelian can come in red-orange or light orange, and I know amethyst is purple! I’d never noticed this before, but could the holy city look like a double rainbow – the jasper going on to the emerald, back again to the red-orange carnelian, on to the topaz, and the purple amethyst next to the red jasper that starts the whole thing again?
One more thought: Jasper is a fiery colour. The holy city is sometimes called by the same name as its inhabitants – the bride (the bride of Christ), and when John (the writer of Revelation) saw the holy city, it looked like a jasper. “One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal” – Revelation 21:9-11. That’s how God feels when He sees us: We’re like a very precious jewel – like a jasper, with the fire of God’s Spirit in us. At the moment the jewel is still being worked on, and sometimes we may not feel very shiny, but our glory is always increasing (2 Corinthians 3:18), until one day we’ll shine completely with the glory of God.
So to all my family in Jesus keep shining, and remember that day when you’ll shine even brighter.