Good morning, and a blessed Thursday morning to you.
Would you please open your Bible with me for our time of study to Luke the 21st chapter. The setting for this text is Tuesday of Holy Week. So the cross is looming, and but a short period of time away. And Jesus is teaching in the temple. What he gives in this section of Scripture is some of the signs that are the prelude to the end of the world. Let's pick up in verse 25.
25 “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
He then reveals what the reaction of people will be.
26 People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Remember, Jesus came the first time to save. He comes the second time to judge. So when will this happen? Jesus goes on to give a parable.
29 Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; 30 as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place.
Well, was Jesus talking about people living in his day? If that was the case, then how can this be true when Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place”? That phrase, “this generation” is a really, really interesting phrase. It occurs nine times in the Gospel of Luke. Each and every time it appears it's referencing an unbelieving portion of humanity. That tells us that there will be unbelievers until the day that the Lord comes again.
When will the Lord come again? Matthew chapter 24 is so helpful.
36 “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
But that it will happen is certain.
Let’s go back again to Luke 24:25
25 “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. 26 People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory.
When Jesus talks about those fainting from fear and foreboding, as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are not counted among that group. Rather…
28 Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
We can stand and raise our heads because of the confidence that is ours through the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. And so, for the unbeliever the second coming of Christ is a day of terror. For the believer, the second coming of Christ is a day to anticipate.
Look at verse 33…
33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
And His word for you is forgiveness. His word for you is that he has claimed you as his own in the waters of baptism. HIs word for you is that he has called you his child. The Lord Jesus Christ has bore our sin on the cross. The tomb is empty, and that victory, beloved, is yours.
When will the day come, when Jesus comes again? The father knows. But until that day, let us be busy doing that which the Lord has called us to do… faithfully proclaiming Christ crucified and risen! And let us live each day with anticipation for that day when the Lord will come again. For we long for that day. Will it be today? Perhaps. Or will it be long after the Lord has taken us home to be with him in Paradise? Perhaps. But let us live with that spirit of anticipation and joy, as we say, “Come! Lord Jesus! Come!”
Let’s pray: Gracious Heavenly Father, thank you for this time in your Word. Your Word is truth. We thank you Lord, that through the cross and the empty tomb, for your claim on our lives, for you calling us your own in the waters of baptism, that we can anticipate your second coming. And so Father, whether that be today, or many days far in the future, empower us Lord to live in the joy of your promise, and the joy and the victory that you have given us through the cross and the empty tomb. Come, Lord Jesus! In the precious name of the Savior we pray. Amen.
God bless you today. Encourage someone!