The River of Life
“Then he brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east…And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live…And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.” —Ezekiel 47:1,9,12
“On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, ‘If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, “Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.”’ Now this he said about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were to receive…” — John 7:37-39
“But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.” —John 19:34
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.” —Revelation 22:1-5
“The Temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb” (Revelation 21:22). From His Temple flows the River of Life, “And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live…” (Ezekiel 47:9). On this Good Friday we are reminded that the Lamb that was slain reigns. Jesus reigns. He reigned from the Cross. From this throne He forgave those who crucified Him. He promised salvation to the penitent thief. He made provision for His mother and beloved disciple. He prayed to the Father, and commended His spirit to Him. And from the throne of the Cross the river of cleansing blood and water flowed (John 19:34). Even in His death, new life flowed from the One who is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6). From the life of Jesus comes new life, and He promised that the River of Life will also flow from those who are in Him. Jesus said in the quote above, “He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.’ Now this He said about the Spirit, which those who believed in Him were to receive…” And just as Jesus reigns, all those who are in Him share in His reign “forever and ever” (Revelation 22:5).
We are coming to the end of this season of penitence, and as was pointed out on Monday of this week, we need to move forward. We have repented, and God is faithful to forgive. We need only to receive that forgiveness, turn and be renewed in the River of Life. The rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple in her midst is an ongoing process. We must continue to be built up, equipped, to reach the nations and bring others into the fulness of Christ’s Kingdom. The tree of life from which Adam and Eve were barred in Genesis 3:24 has multiplied, and now it lines either side of the River of Life. The tree of life, “with its twelve kinds of fruit” are for “the healing of the nations.”
Jesus died upon the cross that His life might flow forth in power and grace for the healing of all mankind. He has called us to share in His life, and we do so by sharing in His death. The old self must die that the new self may live. For, “one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him” (Romans 6:7-8). Now that the rebuilding has begun in us, may God release the Spirit in each one of us, and let the waters of Life flow from His throne through us to all the world.