Day 40

The New City

from the Lent 2022: Come to Life reading plan


Ezekiel 48:1-35, Zechariah 2:10, Revelation 21:3, Revelation 21:10-22

BY Hannah Little

I’m from a small town in Indiana where cornfields and railroad tracks are the distinguishing features. I’ve lived in a few, much bigger places since then, but one thing I’ve learned for certain: I’m not a big city girl. I prefer wide-open spaces over skyscrapers, trees to block the sun rather than buildings, and don’t even get me started about my love for cows over crowded city streets. It’s the familiarity that draws me in. I feel at home in the suburbs, and even more so in the country, the very places I’ve spent a lifetime growing accustomed to. 

As we draw to a close after six full, rich weeks of Ezekiel, we reach what many consider to be the climax: the new city. In this final chapter, Ezekiel describes God’s promise for His people’s return to the restored land, the very place they had been exiled from. Alongside Ezekiel, Revelation 21 details John’s strikingly similar vision—a fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy made over 500 years before. 

Whereas Ezekiel’s vision centers on the use of the city, John’s pays careful attention to the makeup and architecture. The details, though they are enough to stop us in our tracks, are not the climax of these visions. In Ezekiel’s, the central location and focus of the city is the temple—the center of worship, the place of God’s presence. Yet as John, a Jewish man familiar with the temple’s importance, looked for the temple in his vision, he couldn’t find it—because “the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Revelation 21:22). The temple has been replaced—God’s presence has overtaken the city.

Whether it’s crowded city streets or a calm countryside, it’s easy to feel at home in what’s familiar. While it will appear more brilliant and unique than anything we have experienced, this new city won’t be entirely new to us. More important than all its stunning features, this city will be the home we were always intended for—the very presence of God.

“The name of the city from that day on will be The LORD Is There.” —Ezekiel 48:35 

For the exiles who had witnessed the departure of God’s presence (Ezekiel 10–11), the hope of this new city brought the security of His presence forever. As a people living in between Jesus’s first and second coming, it can be easy to read this prophecy assuming its hope doesn’t translate. After all, we still live in the broken cities of this world. It’s here, in the in-between, that we get to join John in looking to the very city in his vision. This Lenten season, because of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection, we can cling to the hope that we will one day be home forever. This is the hope secured in Christ that we will read about this Holy Week.

 The book of Ezekiel has reminded me that what’s most important is not whether God’s eternal kingdom looks more like a bustling city or a quiet countryside; what I desire is the presence of God—that’s where we were meant to feel at home.

Post Comments (32)

32 thoughts on "The New City"

  1. Margaret W says:

    Thank you, Searching ❤️

  2. Susan Victoria says:

    With an imminent move on the horizon for our family (from a beautiful town to a city), some of my fears have been, “Will this be home?” Today’s reading is a promise that where we go, THE LORD IS HERE and that will be home.

  3. Cindy Hanna says:

    I have loved this study of Ezekiel. It felt significant, weighty even and forced me to contemplate the heart of God in ways I hadn’t thought of before. He emerged more holy, more just, more merciful and more faithful than ever. Oh how he loves us! Oh, how very much I want to dwell in His presence and worship.

  4. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    Praying for you all this morning and your requests as I read them.
    @Sarah D. – praying that God will heal you of your anxieties and that He will comfort you and help you through in the meantime.
    @Jenn Taylor – what a scary thing to have happen! I will be praying for you all…I found you on FB and am following you – I will be praying for you regularly as you serve our Lord in Chile. There is another family in Chile that I pray for as well.

    Blessings All!

  5. Dorothy says:

    “…because of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection, we can cling to the hope that we will one day be home forever. This is the hope secured in Christ…”, these words of Hannah’s really “hit home” today. Maybe it’s because last night my d-i-l text me to tell me that my son’s aunt on his father’s side is in ICU. She has cancer of the bladder and kidneys. Her name is Patricia but she goes by Tricia or Trish. She is a year younger than me and that’s what really makes it hard. I believe she is saved.

    Be blessed and cling to His hope sisters. Have a great weekend.

  6. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    What a story of hope the Bible has for us, and it goes full circle! It begins in Genesis with Adam and Eve living and walking in the presence of God. But because of sin they were separated. Then we read of the tabernacle and later the temple, where again man was separated from God by the veil. Because of man’s sin the only one allowed behind the veil were the priests who offered atonement for sin. In the New Testament we find the same – separation from God by sin and a veil. But then, Jesus died on the cross for our sin — the veil of separation was torn in two! Now, we have access into the holy of hollies through the precious, poured out blood of Christ! And one day in our future, we have the promise of once again living and walking in the very presence of God, in the New Jerusalem! Eden is restored! Oh what a day – a glorious day that will be!!

    Have a wonderful weekend my She Sisters!

  7. Rebecca says:

    As I look out the window and see the budding dogwoods and life returning to a cold brown earth I am reminded that a whole new earth is coming forever! And Jesus will be there with us forever! Too wonderful to truly grasp!❤️❤️❤️
    Jenn T- Prayers for courage and peace after your ordeal
    Sarah D- thankful you had a better day and will continue to pray for peace and calm in your soul
    Jennifer Loves Jesus- your words are beautiful and eloquent and touch my heart.
    Have a fabulous Friday!

  8. Rhonda J. says:

    There is a coming day
    where no heartache shall come
    No more clouds in the sky
    No more tears to dim the eye
    All is peace forever more
    on that happy golden shore
    What a day, glorious day that will be!

    What a day that will be
    When my Jesus I shall see
    When He takes me by the Hand
    And leads me to the Promise Land
    What a Day, Glorious Day
    That will Be!

    The old hymnal I love to sing! Happy Friday She’s!
    Friday is my day to listen to “The Unfolding” podcast! Take a listen to hear an uplifting testimony, that I’m sure will bless you! I missed the SRT podcasts this week, so I have to catch up on that tomorrow!

    Thank you for the comments today, they are beautiful as always!

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