[Jesus said:] “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:25-28 ESV
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:29-31 ESV
Ann Nystrom and her friend were hiking at Mt. St. Helens on the Sunday morning back in 1980 when the mountain erupted. The ground shook and hot ash poured out of the top and side of the mountain. Many people died in this terrible eruption, but Sue and her boyfriend survived. They were trudging through the ash and the toppled trees when suddenly, from the sky, a National Guard helicopter dropped down to them. They were lifted away from the dangerous mountain to safety. Ann never forgot the helicopter pilot who had saved her life when it seemed as if the world was falling apart and that she was sure to die.
Jesus talked about the destruction of Jerusalem to come, and he also talked about the end of the whole world. He said that when the day of final judgment comes, the whole world will be shaken with disaster. He talked about the sun and the moon going dark and the stars falling from the sky, while the waves of the ocean roar and foam. He said that people will be terrified when they see these things happening, but he also said that for his people, there is no reason to be afraid. Instead we should look up, because our redemption is coming. Jesus will come on the clouds of heaven with great power and glory, and angels will blow trumpets and gather all of his people from all over the world to be with him forever.
We know we don’t have to worry about the day when Jesus comes again, because he came to us the first time to save us. Jesus took all of God’s anger and judgment over sin onto himself, and he carried it all to the cross and paid for it there. Because of what he did for us, we can be sure that when he returns, he will send his holy angels to bring us home to be with him forever.
Dear Jesus, thank you for dying to make us your people. We look forward to the day you will come to bring us home. Amen.