God in the Garden and in the City (1)

God in Eden, God in New JerusalemThe prior post listed six aspects of the garden of Eden that correspond with New Jerusalem. The first is that God was present in the garden (Genesis 3:8) and is present in New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:22; 22:1).

Is the presence of God in the garden and in the city the same? On one hand, He is the one unique, eternal God and never changes. On the other hand, between Genesis and Revelation, God put on humanity to become the redeeming God.

John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Then John 1:14 says, “the Word became flesh.” “Became” indicates a change. In His divinity, God never changes, but putting on humanity was a change.

Why did God take this step? The first part of the answer is in John 1:29. John the Baptist “saw Jesus coming to him and said, Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” The Word, who is God, put on humanity to partake of humanity, to live among us, and to die. Through incarnation and death, God became the redeeming God!

Therefore in New Jerusalem we find the Lamb-God. Throughout Revelation the Lamb is prominent, and verses 22:1 and 3 both speak of the one throne “of God and of the Lamb.” Furthermore, Revelation 21:23 says concerning the city, “the glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.” God the light shines through the Lamb who is the lamp.

Considering all these verses, we see that the creating God was in the garden and the redeeming Lamb-God is in the city. God is more to us now and in New Jerusalem than He was to Adam in Eden.

Related posts:
Behold the Lamb
Jesus, the Lamb, is the Lamp

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

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10 Comments

  1. What specific lamb is John the Baptist referring to? It could be the Passover Lamb or the lamb described in Isaiah 53, or perhaps he is using it in a general sense.

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    • John does not refer to a specific lamb. He is probably using “lamb” in a general sense to include all the lambs in the Old Testament. All those lambs are pictures of Jesus – He is the real passover, He is the one who takes away sin, and He is the one through whom we have forgiveness of sins.

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