This is the thirteenth and final piece of art for our series “We Believe.” You can see the explanation to the entire series here.
The inspiration for my work comes from Revelation 21, where John is lifted in the Spirit to a mountain (v10) and given a vision of the New Jerusalem descending from heaven. The work itself is a digital composite of four photographs taken locally in Colorado with a few added elements. Each element is meant as a symbol that relates back to Revelation 21:
- The background sky is a long exposure shot of the Milky Way to represent the new heaven (v1) which no longer includes the sun or moon (v23).
- The distant ground is a photograph taken at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison representing the new earth without seas (v1), and the cliffs glowing red from the lake of fire below (v8).
- The New Jerusalem is described as a “jasper, clear as crystal” (v11); thus, the city is represented with a macro shot of a polished and shining red jasper. The city has 12 sides to represent the 12 gates for the 12 tribes of God’s people (v12).
- Each gate has an angel standing guard (v12), and the 12 rays of light signify God’s redeeming light spread through the 12 apostles, whose names are written into the 12 foundations of the city (v14). The city is described as being “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (v2), and thus is lightly veiled with the galaxy Andromeda.
- Finally, the light source, and the source of glory, is the victorious lamb. John “saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.” (v22-23).
Hallelujah He has risen, and will return again to make all things new. John writes in Revelation 7:9-12
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Artist: Jeff Shaddix