No longer will there be any curse

Revelation 22:1-5 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

There it is, tucked into John’s description of the heavenly Jerusalem.  The beauty of what we are seeing in trees and rivers and throne and Lamb and shining face so captures our attention that we almost miss the beautiful reality of what is not there.  In verse 3, John tells us, “No longer will there be any curse.”  Literally, “Every curse (or cursed thing) will be no more.”  Only three people in the history of the world have an idea of what that is like – Adam and Eve, who lived for at least a brief time before any curse had been pronounced, and Jesus, who came into this world from the curse-free place that John describes here.

As happy and peaceful as some days can be in this world, we still live in a cursed and fallen world.  The created world around us and we ourselves are subject to death and decay.  Pain and toil have been part of daily life since our ancestors were banished from Eden.  Guilt and shame hang over us like a dark cloud that just won’t move.  And all of it is only a reminder of the far worse pain that should be ours, the utter agony that we deserve for our sins.

But one day it will all be gone because the Lamb who sits on heaven’s throne once stood before the judgment seat of a high priest, a king, and a governor, and was condemned for crimes he had not committed.  The One who gives light to heaven once hung in darkness on Calvary’s cross, cursed for our guilt and humiliated for our shameful thoughts and words and deeds.  He bore our curse on the tree, enduring the agony of hell, so that we will one day stand before the tree of life, where there is no longer any curse.

Yes, one day it will all be gone.  Will we even notice what is missing?  Or will the curse of sin be erased from our minds forever as we live in utter blessedness?  Only God and those Saints Triumphant know the answer for now.  But soon we, who bear the name of the Lamb on our foreheads since our Baptism, will stand at the river of the water of life and before the throne of God and finally know what it’s like to experience life without any curse.  Come quickly, Lord Jesus!


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