February 28, 2009

Greatest Show on Earth

Revelation 21

I saw a new heaven and a new earth …
Revelation 21:1


“The Greatest Show on Earth” was in town. So we spent an evening gasping at acrobats, aerialists, tigers, elephants, motorcyclists, horseback riders.

Later I made a list of biblical “Greatest Shows on Earth.” First on the list—creation. Then, how about the crossing of the Red Sea, or Daniel’s trained lions, or the angels announcing Jesus’ birth, or Christ’s resurrection? And God is saving the best for last—the new heaven and new earth!

But then I remembered Moses’ daring request: “Show me your glory” (Exodus 33:18). That’s one of the “Greatest Shows on Earth” too. God graciously responded by saying, “You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live … When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back” (Exodus 33:20-23).

Even seeing God’s back would be more amazing and wondrous than anything humans could come up with. And because we are safely hidden with Christ (Colossians 3:3), someday we will see God’s face and not die. God will show us his glory and say in his grace, “No more tears, no more pain, no more death” (see Revelation 21:4). God’s grace and glory in all their fullness will be the greatest blessing on the new earth!

God of all grace, how we long today for that greatest of all days when you fully display your grace and glory. Come, Lord Jesus! In your glorious name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

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