Thursday night, Celia and I were driving through a wild storm north of Abilene. As lightning Iit up the sky, we were silent. I was holding the wheel on the road in the face of 40+ mph winds and it was wild weather. Neither one of us have ever seen as much or as brilliant of a lightening storm. Sheet lightning, ground strikes right out in the wide open West Texas landscape. The horizon in the north was bright orange and it was around 9:00 PM. It was breathtaking, beautiful, scary and awesome. I thought and think I said out loud, as amazing as this is, it will pale in comparison to when Jesus comes back. Check out some of these descriptions:
"And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. 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 the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world —from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven." (Matthew 24:30, 31 NLT)
"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever." (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17 NLT)
"Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see him— even those who pierced him. And all the nations of the world will mourn for him. Yes! Amen!" (Revelation 1:7 NLT)
When I read these verses, it's hard for me to imagine, how will everyone see Jesus when He comes back? However, when I experience a lightning storm like last night and the night sky has bright lines drawn all through it over and over again, with bolts flashing and striking...it becomes a little easier to comprehend. Power, glory and brilliance belong to our King!
We often think of Jesus hanging on the cross, beaten, whipped, pierced and it stirs up pity in us. He was there. He hung there. All those horrible things are true and they happened to Him, but when we remember Jesus allowed it to happen to Himself, to pay for our sin, then we are reminded of His overwhelming power and love. Pity has no place! Only worship is a right response from us for the King of Kings. Listen to how John, the disciple Jesus loved described our King when John saw Him in His glory:
"And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance." (Revelation 1:13-16 NLT)
A lightning storm reminded me of the coming of our King. He no longer hangs on a cross. In the following verses in Revelation chapter 1 Jesus says He is alive, will live forever and He holds the keys to death and the grave. We worship the Living God and we will see Him return. This weekend, as we will celebrate communion, let's remember Jesus not just as He was, but as He is and as He will be when He comes for us. Here's to that day!