A Great Family Reunion
Revelation 21:1–6; Isaiah 11:1–9; The Great Controversy, pp. 674, 675; Early Writings, pp. 13–20
Jesus wants us to live with Him forever in a happy, safe place.
“ ‘[God] will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away’ ” (Revelation 21:4, NIV).
Have you ever seen a lion in the zoo? Would you like to get in the same cage? When we get to heaven, lions will be as tame as kittens and will sleep with the sheep and lambs. What will it be like to be there?
When the chariot-cloud with Jesus, the angels, and the redeemed from earth arrives in heaven, it stops in front of gates of pearl. Before entering the gates, Jesus gives everyone a crown. Written on the crown is each person’s new heavenly name and the words “Holiness to the Lord.” Jesus also gives each person a palm branch and a harp. One of the angels leads everyone in a praise song and the people play this song on their harps.
Then Jesus opens the gates. He says, “The battle is over. You are blessed by My Father. I’ve prepared this place for you from the beginning. Enjoy it; it’s yours.” Everyone streams in through the gates. They see people they haven’t seen in years. They see people they have only heard or read about. They shout happily to each other: “I’m glad you’re here!” “Look who’s here!” “I knew you would be here!” People hug each other. Jesus sits on His throne smiling at all the happy people. Then they turn to Him, take off their crowns, and lay them at His feet.
Suddenly another happy shout rings out. Adam enters the city. Jesus stands and stretches out His arms to him. Adam sees the scars on Jesus’ hands. Instead of going into Jesus’ arms, he falls down at Jesus’ feet. He cries, “Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was killed for my sins!” Jesus lifts him up and says, “Look around you, Adam.”
Adam recognizes the place right away. He sees his old home, the Garden of Eden. But it is even more beautiful than when he lived there. Adam walks among the trees where he used to gather fruit. He smells the flowers he used to pick. He touches the vines he used to train. Animals come up to him. He sees wolves and lambs playing together. All the animals are so gentle even little children play with them. Goats and leopards, calves and colts, and lions and bear cubs nap together. They all eat the same kind of food. No more eating each other!
Jesus leads Adam to the Tree of Life. He picks a piece of fruit and says, “This is for you to eat, Adam.” Adam looks at all the people in the crowd standing in the new Eden. They are his children, grandchildren, and great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren. They all belong to his family. He is so happy that Jesus has saved all these people. He places his crown at Jesus’ feet. Finally, he enters Jesus’ arms.
Then Adam picks up his harp. He leads his family in singing his favorite praise song, “Worthy, worthy, worthy is the Lamb that died for my sins, and lives again!” All the people take off their crowns and lay them at Jesus’ feet. They bow deeply before Him. When they rise, they wave their palm branches in praise and shout “Alleluia!” The angels join in their song of praise. “Alleluia, Alleluia!” rings throughout heaven. Everyone is happy to be with Jesus.