In Hebrews 13 we read of the blood of “an eternal covenant”. That does not refer to a ‘future’ eternity. That word points to the past, a past as seen from our standpoint; because for God the past and the future are alike: an eternal present time. But the Word, being written for our sakes, and taking account of our limited realm, wants to show us that in the foreknowledge of God the blood of an eternal covenant was already set apart. Then this creation came into being. It appeared out of the chaotic state of a judged world, and “it was very good.” After that came the fall. Through sin the evil one got the upper hand and saw to it that the history of the world became one of darkness and human misery. Now the creation is waiting for the redemption — “the unveiling of the sons of God”.
This leads us to the second phase of God’s purpose, the Cross of the Son of Man. In Him appears, at the same time, the new creation. On the one hand the old creation was judged, and came definitely to an end in Him as our Representative. In the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, all have died. On the other hand He is the resurrection and the life, “the firstborn from among the dead”. But this new creation is not like the old one. The new heaven and the new earth are of a different order. We now live “by faith and not by sight”. It is a spiritual world, entirely new; new in an all-inclusive sense.
The third phase is presented to us in the book of the Revelation, chapter 21: “Behold, I make all things new.” That is the new creation in its consummation. It is a spiritual creation as the ultimate outcome of the Cross of Christ. This spiritual creation will take a form which is adequate to its nature: a new heaven and a new earth.
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