Passage: Revelation 21:1–21:7
†††In the Name of Jesus†††
Pastor Murray Keith
Text: Revelation 21:1-7
Date: April 24th; Easter 5; Series C
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Sin separates. It isolates. It works hard to leave you lonely and alone.
Think back to the Garden of Eden when the world was new and everything was good.
The Lord created Adam and shortly after announced, “It is not good for man to be alone.”
So, he created Eve. Adam and Eve were together, loving and serving each other and living in a harmonious relationship with God.
God told them to be fruitful and multiply - to have children so that more people could be together. And throughout all of this, God was with them too.
Because there was no sin - God could walk among his people in the Garden. No separation. No isolation.
But, as we know, Adam and Eve changed all of this when they fell into sin.
And what was their first response?
When they heard God approaching in the cool of the morning - they hid from him.
They wanted to be separated from his holiness.
When Adam was questioned by God about the sin he had committed - he immediately blamed the woman.
No longer were they together as a team – it quickly becomes every man for himself.
And that was only the beginning.
As God listed the consequences of sin, he told Adam what his lonely end would be, “Dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”
There is nothing more isolating in this world than the grave.
But, between now and the grave – sin is hard at work to isolate us today.
Sin tries to destroy all of the relationships we have – relationships with our friends and family.
Petty actions and words cause barriers.
Being too prideful to ask for forgiveness when we have done wrong causes separation.
Being too stubborn to offer forgiveness when it is sought from us causes isolation.
Sin works hard to find any way that it can to rip us apart from each other.
Sin also causes separation by attacking our health.
When we are feeling well we are able to move around, visit others, join in activities with our friends and family.
When we are sick and injured we are left behind, homebound, feeling rotten. This too is the isolating effect of sin.
Although these consequences of sin cause us great hardship and sorrow today – the main goal is to lead you to eternal separation from God.
Sin isolates. We know it. We feel it.
Sometimes we experience it because of the sins that we commit and sometimes we feel it because of the sins of others.
Sometimes it is simply part of life in this fallen world.
But hear the Good News! “Behold, I am making all things new.”
That is what God declares from his throne in our text for this morning.
He is making all things new. He has paid the price to make all things new. He has reversed the curse that Adam and Eve brought upon creation.
Jesus Christ, true God from eternity, took on flesh and dwelt among us.
He removed the separation between us - by becoming one of us.
He lived the perfect and sinless life that none of us can on our behalf.
He suffered the judgment for the sins of the entire world (including yours!) on the cross.
He experienced isolation like never before when he cried out from the cross, “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?”
Jesus had been one with his Father from all eternity – but he was forsaken, abandoned by God, to suffer the ultimate separation that sin brings.
He suffered excruciating pain on the cross. He died and was laid in a tomb.
But, he rose victorious from that grave.
Sin sought to reduce you to dust and leave you in the grave – but Jesus conquered sin and declares to you, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
Jesus makes all things new. He promises a new heaven and a new earth.
One in which there is no sin. And if there is no sin – there is no death.
If there is no sin – there is no separation.
Today God is among us through his Word and Sacraments, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man” we heard in our reading from Revelation.
With eyes of faith we see him working in our midst regardless of our circumstances.
The devil will use sin and suffering to try and convince you that God is not faithful, that this life is all there is, that you’re sentenced to the same old thing of living and suffering and dying.
But it is not so.
The Lord declares that by his death and resurrection – he makes all things new.
Christ Jesus has set you free from sin and has made you new.
Now you forgive those who have trespassed against you as you have been forgiven for your trespasses.
Now you serve God by loving and serving your neighbour as you can according to your station in life.
This is who you are as a new creation. This is who you are in Christ.
The new heaven and new earth has already been won for us. Nothing can ever change that.
It is ours now - but, we don’t experience it fully yet.
We must for a while continue living in this fallen world where we find ourselves experiencing the separation of sin and death.
But we have the certain hope that this separation is only temporary.
Jesus tell us that just as a woman’s temporary pain in childbirth gives way to joy and is remembered no more, so our separation is only temporary and will give way to great joy and will be remembered no more in the new heaven and new earth.
There we will live in unity and harmony with God and all those from whom we have been separated by death.
With certain hope we look forward to the new creation where as John described it in our reading from Revelation, “God will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore…” Amen.
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus unto life everlasting. Amen.