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.Revelation 21:9-10 NIV
The last two chapters of Revelation are primarily concerned with a description of the new Jerusalem, the Holy City. This city is not directly linked to the Babylon that occupied chapters 17 & 18. But the contrast between them is hard to miss. Babylon, the great prostitute that feeds on the blood of the saints and is destroyed by God. And Jerusalem, the bride of Christ, glorious and radiant, the dwelling place of God and the saints.
Jerusalem is described as if she were a physical city descending to the new earth, an immense and glorious city. This city is directly linked to both the prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New Testament, encompassing all of God’s people. And dwelling within the city is both God the Father and the Lamb.
Unveiling the Bride?
But is this really a city? The angel tells John he is going to show him the Bride, the wife of the Lamb. Then he shows John this city descending from heaven. I don’t believe the Lamb is marrying a city. Rather this description of the city is a metaphoric description of the church, the unveiled bride of Christ. A Church who has been prepared and purified and is now ready for marriage (Eph. 5:27). We will not be walking on streets of gold, we will be the golden streets (1 Pet. 1:7), as well as the other living materials used to form the Bride.
Which city will you be a part of? Babylon? Or Jerusalem?