“When you see soldiers camped all around Jerusalem, then you’ll know that she is about to be devastated. If you’re living in Judea at the time, run for the hills. If you’re in the city, get out quickly. If you’re out in the fields, don’t go home to get your coat. This is Vengeance Day—everything written about it will come to a head. Pregnant and nursing mothers will have it especially hard. Incredible misery! Torrential rage! People dropping like flies; people dragged off to prisons; Jerusalem under the boot of barbarians until the nations finish what was given them to do. It will seem like all hell has broken loose—sun, moon, stars, earth, sea, in an uproar and everyone all over the world in a panic, the wind knocked out of them by the threat of doom, the powers-that-be quaking. And then—then!—they’ll see the Son of Man welcomed in grand style—a glorious welcome! When all this starts to happen, up on your feet. Stand tall with your heads high. Help is on the way!”
Biblical prophecy is so unique.
On one hand, Jesus, here in Luke’s gospel, is giving us a quick overview of the scenario that will be present on planet earth immediately prior to His second coming. A time that we, here on the planet, have not yet experienced.
Yet, amazingly enough, Jesus, in His apocalyptic discourse here, is also referring to numerous tumultuous events in the history of God’s people that we, today, know have already happened in world history.
For example, in 70 AD, less than 40 years after Jesus speaks these difficult words in Jerusalem in 33 AD, the Roman army descends upon God’s Holy City and crushes the Jewish nation, destroying the temple and scattering the people of God. History shows us that not until 1947, almost 1,900 years later, did the Jews have the freedom and liberty to return to the Holy Land, dwelling there once again as a sovereign nation.
Historians also point to the Holocaust, which immediately preceded the 1947 return to the Holy Land, as yet another possible fulfillment of the horrible atrocities Jesus refers to here in Luke. And as we stated in yesterday’s blog, church history also shows us that most of the last two thousand years of Christendom have included bloody persecutions that could easily resemble the horror Jesus spells out to His disciples in 33 AD.
Wars. Rumors of war. All hell breaking loose. Nature out of control. The threat of doom. Even powers-that-be quaking at the uncertainty of the times.
Who can be ready for such tumultuous times? How can anyone be prepared for such calamities, such destruction, such terror?
The key, as I see it, is in verse 27.
And then, then, the Son of Man!
Just when all the wind has been taken out of our sails. Just when the night seems the darkest. Just when the world and all its’ evil seems to have overcome. Just when we think we’ve breathed our last breath.
And then, then, Jesus of Nazareth.
As scripture states clearly, He is the Alpha (the beginning). He is the Omega (the end). Regardless of what evil might befall the world. Regardless of whether it’s the days before the Second Coming, or just days before our death, Jesus holds all the answers. It’s in Him, we move, breathe, and have our strength. It’s in Him, we find our life and hope. When all else fails…
Jesus, the One and Only. The Son of Man.
My prayer: God, these apocalyptic words can frighten me at times. As I look around the world today, I can be easily convinced that certainly, these must be the days before Your second coming. Yet despite these frightening scenarios, I thank You that Jesus spoke the words of wisdom and great assurance when He refers to Himself as the One to keep my eyes peeled for. It’s in His appearing that I will find life, in all situations. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: Apocalyptic warnings abound today. Whether it be biblical teachings, new age sages, or even the History Channel, everyone seems to be talking about the end of time. How am I responding to these warnings? Am I getting distracted by such conversations, focusing on survival techniques and falling prey to worry and anxiety? Or is all of this talk driving me closer and closer to the heart of Jesus? Am I listening more to the world right now or am I drawing nearer to the Alpha and Omega, listening for His words of wisdom and counsel?
So, what are you experiencing today as we are journeying through this Lenten Adventure?
Over a 48-day period (from Ash Wednesday through the Monday after Easter), you and I will be taking a deeper look at the stories surrounding the life and ministry of Jesus (especially the last week known as Holy Week) as recorded in the Gospel of Luke. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Our Lenten Journey home page for ease of use.
If you like what you’re reading, might we suggest you share this page with others!