Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever…
Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates…
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. (Rev 22:1-5,14,17)
The Bible ends with a glimpse into eternity. “Everything sad will become untrue” as Sam Gamgee put it. The garden created in the beginning has become a garden-city, with life flowing from it. It is a beautiful image and fuels our longing to be fully and finally redeemed. And the invitation is there too, to whomever is willing to wash their robes in the blood of the lamb and take freely of life. Washing your robe is a metaphor for letting go of your own claims to God based on your own works. This is a hard thing to take off. I like the imagery of having to wash, to scrub off the filth of our own “good” works. This is not an easy bath to take. It leaves us feeling completely exposed and utterly vulnerable. This must be why the imagery of this new beginning is so inviting, that the fear of exposure will be overpowered by the beauty of the love and patience of God.
Do you long for that day? Are you prepared for the that day?
Ask the Lord to help you turn away from your pride and wash your robe in the blood of Christ.
McCheyne’s reading plan: 2 Ch 36, Re 22, Mal 4, Ps 150