In a short and surprising video from the Bible Project, Tim Mackie and Jon Collins challenge many of our common assumptions about heaven and earth. Mackie opens the video with a simple, yet revolutionary idea:
“In the Bible, the ideas of heaven and earth are ways of talking about God’s space and our space.”
Many of us grew up believing that heaven and earth were ways of talking about this life and the next life. But that isn’t the story of the Bible. The story of the Bible is that God and man are separated and that God’s mission is to be with His people — to bring heaven to earth.
This simple idea transforms nearly every story we read in the Bible.
The Garden of Eden in Genesis, for example, was not just a physical location on the earth. It was a place where heaven and earth overlapped. “It’s a place where God and humanity dwelt together perfectly,” says Mackie. That’s why we see God physically walking in the cool of the day with Adam and Eve in the garden (Gen. 3:8). But when humans sinned, we left the presence of God because we wanted to do things our own way. However, God still wanted to be with us. So He created another type of meeting place between heaven and earth where people could be in His presence: a temple.
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