Clouds Parting Revealing the Heavens

A daily devotion for July 4th

The Focal Point of History

Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all peoples on earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen. I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.

Rev 1:7-8

This is the focal point of history, that one far off, divine event, toward which the whole creation moves. One of these days he will break through the skies, as he once left this earth, and come again in glory. His coming will have universal impact.

First, every eye will see him. Jesus himself tells us this. If you have read Matthew 24, you know that he himself describes this event. At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. No one will miss it. He will appear everywhere in that uniqueness of Deity that can be visible to everybody around the earth at once. Paul calls this event, the splendor of his coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8b), literally, the outshining of his parousia.

Even the Jews will recognize him. John says, …even those who pierced him. This is a reference to a prophecy in Zechariah 12, where we are told that when he appears, those who pierced him shall look upon him and shall mourn for him with a great mourning. They shall ask him, What are these wounds in your hands?, and he will say, Those which I received in the house of my friends… (Zechariah 13:6 KJV).

I was with a number of rabbis discussing the differences between Christianity and Judaism. One of them said to me, When the Messiah does come, the Jews will say, Welcome but you Christians will say, Welcome back. And I said, But what will the Messiah say? He said, I think he will say, No comment. One of the puzzles of history has been why the Jewish people have so resolutely turned their backs on the evidence that Jesus is their promised Messiah. But it will not be forever. The day will come when Israel will recognize their Messiah. Prophecy predicts it and Jesus here confirms it; even those who pierced him (Zechariah 12:10), shall see him on that day.

The third result is that, all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. I believe this is a reference to that great event described in Philippians 2. There we are told that, at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, in heaven and on the earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father, (Philippians 2:10-11). At last people will realize, in the appearance of the Lord himself, where they have stood in relationship to him. They will mourn because they will see how terribly they have treated him and his work for them upon the cross.

In verse eight it is as though God takes a pen and with his own hand, signs this book with his own name: I am the Alpha and the Omega, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty. In no other book of the Bible do we have this wonderful imprimatur of God. God has signed this book with his own name and has identified himself for us. When we read this book, we are reading a copy autographed by the author!

Thank you, Father, for that day for which all creation longs, when your Son will return in glory. Teach me to live with expectancy and readiness for the day I will see him. Amen.

Life Application

Am I living today as if it may be the last before Jesus returns? Is that a day I long for or dread?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

Behind the Scenes of History

Listen to Ray