And the city has no need of sun or moon in order that they might give it light, for the glory of God has illuminated it and its lamp is the Lamb. And the nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. And her gates will never ever be shut by day, for there will be no night there. Rev 21:23-25.
Sometimes the positives in life are so overwhelming that you can only describe them in negatives. That’s the way it is with the New Jerusalem. The reality of the New Jerusalem is indescribable. We learn that there will be no temple, no need of sun or moon, no night, and the gates will never be shut. There will be no more tears, no more death, mourning, crying or pain (Rev 21:4). The first taste of paradise is an experience check, “Oops, no more death, no more night. Oops, no more locked doors. Oops, no more pain. This place is great!”
It reminds me of November 9, 1989. At 7 PM the East German Politburo, responding to weeks of peaceful demonstrations, announced that all citizens could leave East Germany at any crossing “immediately.” After making this announcement they notified Harald Jäger, head of passport control at the Berlin Wall’s Bornholmer Strasse checkpoint, that no one was to pass through unless they had the proper documentation.
Jäger had faithfully watched over his border crossing for all of its 28 years of existence. He determined to continue doing his duty this evening. But by 11 PM things were getting out of control. A crowd of 20,000 people was pressing against the crossing, demanding to be allowed through, but most had not yet been able to secure the proper documents.
The crowd began to chant, “Open the gate! Open the gate! Open the gate!”
Jäger’s men looked to him for instructions. But he had no orders for a situation like this. He didn’t know what to do. His men became insistent, “Tell us what to do!” Jäger held the fate of 20,000 people, yes even a whole country, in his hands.
“What shall I do?” he implored his men, “Order you to shoot?” Jäger knew that the only way he could carry out his orders was through bloodshed.
Shortly after 11 PM Jäger told his men at the gates, “Open them all!” By dawn, an estimated 100,000 delirious East Germans had slipped past him on their way to a raucous celebration in West Berlin. Over the next few days, revelers from both East and West hammered away at the symbol of Soviet communist oppression and toasted their freedom.1 For them, the symbol of hoped-for paradise was, “Her gates will never ever be shut” again!