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When we speak about paradise we have a mental image of a green valley, trees full of tasty fruits, but there is much more behind what the eyes can see.
“The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.” Psalms 19:1-2
The concept of paradise was always portrayed as the Garden of Eden, that heavenly place where we will all live together after the final judgment, even with our loved ones who are no longer physically with us; but Jesus promises us much more than what that concept offers. He offers us the chance to live by His side eternally, beneficiaries of His unconditional love.
“who builds his upper chambers in the heavens, and founds his vault upon the earth; who calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out upon the surface of the earth—the Lord is his name.” Amos 9:6
The promise of eternal life holds a path enlightened by divine grace, in which all our sins from our past life have been washed away through divine forgiveness, as a second chance and an example of the love that God has for all His children , no matter what they did in life, like starting over. Paradise is a second chance.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
Paradise is not only a meeting place for those who have passed on to a better life, but it is also a crucial moment in which we will meet God the Father ourselves; we can finally look Him in the eye and tell Him how much we love Him and how much we have waited for that moment. That is why it is important to remember all those times we have prayed incessantly or have taken refuge in His holy word in order to ask for His holy counsel.
“Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.” Luke 24:50-51
It is also important to consider the gift of eternal life, as a present that God wants to give us for dedicating a lifetime to living under the precepts of love that He offers; for passing all the trials that He put in our path and by strengthening our spirit through them so that we may finally become worthy to be called His children. Paradise, therefore, is the ultimate reward for having reached our final goal.