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New City Catechism 26.3

Question 26: What else does Christ’s death redeem?

Answer: Christ’s death is the beginning of the redemption and renewal of every part of fallen creation, as he powerfully directs all things for his own glory and creation’s good.

The final two visions of the book of Revelation are of a new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21:1-8), followed by a vision of the New Jerusalem, the holy city coming down out of heaven (Rev. 21:9-22:5). In these alternate pictures of the same reality, God shows us images that communicate different aspects of his ultimate goal for our salvation.

In the coming age of new creation, there will be no more pain, death, or mourning. There will be no sin at all. Heaven and earth will be merged into one domain where God shares his dwelling place with us forever. Edenic images of the tree of life and river of life combine with images of a massive city, the fulfillment of God’s original command in Gen. 1:28. And this city will have no temple in it, because the entire city will be the dwelling place of God with man.

Although we live in a fallen world where sin, death, and the devil often appear to have free rein, we patiently wait for the hope of a new heaven and a new earth that God has promised. It is a world where only righteousness dwells (2 Pet. 13). And it is only possible because of the death and resurrection of Christ that has purchased our redemption.

Suggested passage for personal or family reading: Revelation 21:1-8. How is the new creation described? What will be there? What won’t be there? How should we respond to this passage?

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