And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory. So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near.
I must confess, I dreaded having a passage such as this (i.e. "end times-y) falling on my day to post a blog. This topic has initiated many a heated discussion between my husband and myself due to our differing opinions…or rather…my lack of one. Like this week…while I was supposed to be writing...
I guess I don't want to stick God in a box when it comes to how He is going to "fix" things. I don't want to expect things to happen a certain way…like the Rapture before the Tribulation or after or expecting trials and struggles to happen for only so many years or even for Jesus to come floating down on a cloud. Observing the intensity of fear I have heard many people express…yes, Christian people, I want less and less to expect anything.
This doesn't mean that I don't think that Jesus will return. This doesn't mean that I don't think that a cloud will be involved somehow. This doesn't mean that I don't think that He will bring into being a new heaven and a new earth. I just think that, for the most part, we miss the big picture…I forget about the big picture.
This passage of scripture from verse 7 to verse 28 describes things that have happened, that are happening and that will happen…and the majority of it sounds terrifying. Strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars…the nations will be in turmoil (NLT)…in anguish (NIV)…people will faint from terror (NIV).
That just doesn't sound good. And, I have to admit, I can absolutely understand why even some Christians that I know pray to not live through the time described here. Maybe that is why I have to cling to the last half of today's passage…maybe that is why I choose to not have much of an opinion of the how and the why and the what.
Because when everyone is good and perplexed and terrified and in anguish over what is happening not only on the earth but also shaking the heavens above, then…THEN everyone will see the Son of Man coming in His Father's Shekinah glory…coming on a cloud. No one can dispute His identity any longer. Jesus is not just a teacher or a wise man or a clever speaker. Jesus. is. GOD.
This same cloud led the Israelites away from Egypt. This same cloud hovered over the mountain on which Moses conversed with God. This same cloud hovered over the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies. This same cloud swirled around the transfiguration of Jesus and carried him to his seat at the right hand of the Father. This same cloud is revealing the Truth to the whole earth with power and great glory.
Not only will all who doubt see, but we believers have a job to do and it has absolutely nothing to do with cowering with the rest of mankind. Jesus gave us orders, my friends, we are to stand and look up. The Complete Jewish Bible says, "When these things start to happen, stand up and hold your heads high; because you are about to be liberated!"
Stand firm and keep up hope. The battle is already won. May we await the return of our Conquering Hero with faith and perseverance. Freedom is coming!!!