THE LONGING FOR HOME
If you had even a marginally good childhood, “home” was imprinted on you. The deep longing for home is embedded somewhere deep in your spirit. In difficult times, it comes up from the depths of you like a long forgotten song lyric. No matter how content with our current life, each of us has a restlessness for a deeper home. We long for a more secure comfort and a more permanent rest.
OUR TRUE HOME
Many of us have supposed that our real home is in Heaven. We are partially right. But many have made a wrong turn in thinking that our hope is to escape from this world to somewhere else. Verses that talk about being aliens and exiles or looking for an enduring city have led some to think that we must go somewhere else, but those same passages say that the city is coming here and our king is returning here! (Hebrews 13:14; 1 Peter 2:11) The Bible is about Heaven coming down to Earth, rather than us going away to Heaven.
The “going somewhere else” view has been so embedded in popular culture that the Biblical view seems strange. But once you see it, your understanding of the plot of scripture will open your eyes to hope! God made a good world and Jesus came to save it. He will come back with all of Heaven (and all who have gone there ahead of us) to restore everything to it’s God intended glory.
THE STORY OF EXILE
The story of the Bible is built around this homeless exile. Most scholars agree that the Biblical text we have today was collected and compiled during the exile in Babylon and addresses the question the Israelites were asking: “How did we get here and how do we get home?”
Exiled from the garden, humans end up in Babylon.
Exiled from the promised land, Israel ends up in Babylon.
Exiled from his own temple, God is killed by Babylon. (Yes, Rome, but you get the picture!)
HOME BUT NOT HOME
When Jesus showed up, though some of the people had come back to the promised land and rebuilt the temple, the glory of God had not come back with them. God was missing and the Romans were ruling. Though technically home, they were still in occupied territory. The exile continued.
But God had promised to return to his people personally. In Jesus he did. He personally fulfilled his promise about a descendent of the woman (Genesis 3) and from Abraham (Genesis 15). God is faithful even when we are not. He makes his home WITH his people and even IN those who trust in him. They are the new temple. He has made his home with us. And while the presence of his Spirit in us is a just a deposit on our future inheritance, it is a great start!
Though we may feel like exiles in the cultures that surround us, we are bringing heaven’s culture here. He is in his temple (us) and on his throne (in heaven) and we look forward to his personal appearance in the glory of his resurrected body. Soon he will be coming home to stay and to restore all things. Maranatha, come Lord Jesus!!