After weeks of anticipation, I finally went to see the jaw-droppingly awesome sci-fi, IMAX epic, INTERSTELLAR.
Two things happened.
First, I am now officially a huge fan of Christopher Nolan! I thought I was already sold with his previous gigs, MEMENTO and INCEPTION; but in INTERSTELLAR, he beautifully combines dramatic tension with intense action scenes in a whirlwind of ..…ah, who am I kidding, that movie blew my socks off!! Perhaps one of the few times a three-hour movie justified the ridiculous price I had to pay for IMAX tickets, popcorn, candy, and soda!
So, yeah. Go see it. It’s a MUST-SEE!
Second, among the many themes placed throughout the movie, I resonated deeply with the premise of first-time visits to distant worlds (which is sorta-kinda what the movie is about). In one of the dramatic peaks of the movie, the astronauts led by Matthew McConaughey’s character, pass through an oh-so-sweet worm-hole and land on a not-too-dissimilar-from-earth planet in a completely different galaxy. [That wasn’t a spoiler. Trust me, it’s more complicated than I just attempted to explain].
As someone who’s completely in love with the hugeness of our universe and totally sold on the idea that all that space out there was intended by God for a purpose, I couldn't help but wonder what my first-time experience would be like when I finally walk past the veil that separates this world from the next.
Yes. I’m talking about death, heaven, and eternity. No, I don’t have a death wish nor do I mean that in the morbid sense that I want to die soon. My motives are purely rooted in what the scriptures tell me to expect the first time I lay eyes on that promising world.
You wanna hear something crazy? While I’m certainly eager to someday be reunited with family and friends (and maybe pets) who’ve gone ahead to the other side, one of the first things I’m most eager to see in the hereafter is the walls and pearly gates of heaven. Yes, those literal giant walls and gates resplendent in the bright glory of God.
In Revelation 21-22, the apostle John describes in incredible details the walls and gates of the cubed city of heaven, the New Jerusalem. The blinged-out, square-shaped city has 12 gates spread out across its four walls (3 on each side), with 12 angels guarding it. Inscribed on the walls are the names of the Twelve Tribes of the sons of Israel, (Judah, Levi, Reuben, …those guys), and on the foundation of the city are inscribed the names of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, (Peter, John, Andrew, …those guys). The foundation itself is garnished with every precious gem imaginable, and its gates never close.
Mind blown yet?
The walls are really high and made of jasper, (which I think is some sort of earth-toney red?). Each gate leads to Main Street in the city. Alongside the street runs the great river of the water of life. On each side of the river are, the tree(s) of life, which bear different kinds of fruit each season. (Keep in mind, earth trees bear only ONE kind of fruit their whole existence, so this tree is something special).
Oh, one small detail before I forget; the streets are made of pure gold!
But that’s not even the best part. You know what rocks the most about this city? God the Father, God the Son – Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit live in that city! Here’s even more encouraging news, this location is the eternal dwelling place Jesus said He was going to go prepare for all who would believe in Him. (This doesn’t even touch on the newly created worlds, planets, galaxies we’ll get to explore. This city is just homebase!)
While the city will serve as the epicenter of all life and activity in eternity, there’s reason to believe that redeemed sojourners from different parts of the recreated universe will come and go through its gates bearing gifts (for its residents, and ultimately for the king).
What a world that’ll be!
You know what the second thing is that I’m looking forward to when I take my last breath in this world? I’m looking forward to the first moment I finally lay eyes on Jesus Christ.
To give you a sense of my anticipation, here are cliff notes of my journey with Him. I became a follower of Christ in the Fall of 1989 when He tugged on my heart to do so. Recognizing that sinfulness in my life had created a relational gap between God and I, I laid down in confession all I could think of and asked for His forgiveness. I believed He died for my sins and asked Him to make me right before God and to be the Lord of my life. Since then, I’ve known His nearness and encouragement in times of hardship, and I’ve known His peace and joy in times of celebration. I have prayed to Him many nights and heard His voice guide me in seasons when I desperately needed wisdom for the next steps in my life. I have had dreams and spiritual experiences where He demonstrated just how much greater and powerful He was than my opposition. I have spent many days worshipping and singing to this unseen savior who is the very source of my life, here and eternally. I’ve preached about Him hundreds of time, and watched Him rescue many friends from hardship.
So yes, I am incredibly eager to someday look Him in the eye and say, “THANK YOU!” (At least that’s what I think I’ll say first if I’m not flat on my face balling in tears with gratitude). Every time I ponder that moment, the words of Bart Millard, lead singer in the group, Casting Crowns, come to mind, “[When I am] Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel? Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still? Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall? Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all?”
Oh what a day of “firsts” that will be.
Husband. Dad. Pastor. Nigerian American. Storyteller. Aspiring Prayer Warrior. Steak Lover. Follower of Jesus Christ reminding you that God the Father still loves you.