The bible passage can be read via the excellent BibleGateway website by clicking here .
The return of Christ is controversial for Christians, it isn’t a case of whether Jesus will return, we all agree he will, it’s how we interpret the Scriptures. There are of course a number of views and there have been many arguments. The result of all this is that we tend to leave the return of Christ as a truth we know but we are afraid to talk about. It’s a good thing to avoid dissensions but the problem is we are missing a subject that is fundamentally important. Jesus didn’t just talk about his return during the Olivet Discourse; he talked about it all of the time. Paul, when writing on the subject said his readers should ‘encourage one another with these words.’ On this Easter Saturday when we think about what it means that Christ died for us, remember, the one who was crucified, will one day return in power!
If you read yesterday’s notes, you will know that Jesus was answering more than one question. In this section, he is talking first about the fall of Jerusalem (v20-24) which would be fulfilled thirty-eight years later and his return to earth (v25-28) which has yet to take place.
A few days earlier, Jesus had entered Jerusalem in triumph. I’m not sure what the crowds were expecting him to do but on entering the city he went to the temple (Mark 11:11). He saw all of the abuse and hypocrisy and then went out of the city to spend the night in Bethany. It was the next day when Jesus overturned the money changers tables and caused a great commotion. It’s a picture of God’s judgement. Jesus didn’t walk into the temple and then lose his temper, his response was considered, measured and appropriate. Jerusalem was a city in rebellion against God. They thought more of the temple and their rules and regulations than they did of God. In a few days they would publicly reject God’s son. Just like in the parable of the tenants we looked at on Monday, God will judge. The temple was destroyed so completely experts are not even sure exactly where it was.
One of the things that keeps coming up when the return of Christ is spoken of in Scripture is that there will be signs in the sky. To be honest, I think it would be wrong to speculate on the exact meaning but it is clear – something huge will be seen in the sky.
Jesus will return, it will not be like his birth at Bethlehem, where only a few noticed. There will be no doubt, he will return in power and glory and everyone will see him.
“Lo! He comes with clouds descending,
Once for favoured sinners slain;
Thousand, thousand saints attending,
Swell the triumph of His train:
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
God appears on earth to reign. (John Cennick)