“And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight The clouds be rolled back as a scroll The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend Even so, it is well with my soul!" -from the hymn It Is Well With My Soul
As we celebrated Holy Week last week, I found myself pondering what life must have been like for Jesus’ followers following the moment of His death to the news of His resurrection. I imagine it must have been an emotional, intense couple of days. They had devoted their lives- left everything- for Jesus. The man they looked to as their Savior- who had fed thousands, performed miracles, and raised the dead- had died. As the hours turned to days, what thoughts were going through their minds? The man who could heal disease and still the sea and wind… yet died a criminal’s death. Surely this didn’t make sense. Was Jesus really who He said He was?
John 20:19 gives us a small glimpse into those hours as it says they had gathered together “behind closed doors for fear of the Jews.” I wonder if they were thinking back over their time with Jesus and all the things He had talked with them about throughout their time together. Jesus had told them of His coming death and resurrection (Mark 9:31-32), that He is the Son of Man (John 9:35-37), and that He will come again (John 14:1-3). The words of Jesus were all they had to cling to in that time of uncertainty. I imagine there were feelings of fear and doubt, yet hope and faith that Jesus’ words would prove to be true.
We too live in a time where we are awaiting Christ to return. But as the days since His ascension have turned to years and centuries, it can be easy to forget His promise of returning. Do we look forward with anticipation to Christ’s second coming? Do we believe this will actually happen, or is it simply a thought in our minds we think about from time to time? Do we let the reality of eternity shape our day-to-day lives? How would our days look different if we kept eternity at the forefront of our minds? For me, I too often continue through my day-to-day life with little thought of eternity and Christ’s coming return.
But in our present day, we are blessed to have the gift of God’s complete Word. From Genesis to Revelation, we know God’s redemptive plan. Christ tells us He will come again, and even gives glimpses into what those days will look like. May we cling to His words and promises in this time that we wait for Him to come again. May His Word shape us and our daily lives in this time of waiting!
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” John 14:3
“And said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.'” Acts 1:11
“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” Thessalonians 4:16-17
“Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,” Titus 2:13
“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Revelation 22:12-13