Each spring we celebrate the resurrection of Christ Jesus on Easter Sunday. Easter is past, but it’s always a good time to remember those events surrounding Easter. The events of that one week in history became a corner stone; the strong foundation of our Christian faith, and we should keep those events uppermost in our mind. But do we remember Jesus’ life up to that point?
He had grown up as the son of a carpenter in the small town of Nazareth. Only he knew, the hands that were pierced by splinters while helping Joseph would soon be pierced by nails.
Having Jesus as a child must have been an amazing experience for Joseph, Mary and the other members of the family. The friends and neighbors must have known he was not an ordinary child. There surely saw something different about him growing up. Jesus knew his destiny from birth. The scripture tells us very little about Jesus’ childhood, but we can guess he was pretty much like any other young boy growing up in a small town. The Bible only says this, “And the child grew and became strong’ he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him” (Luke 2:40). From his birth until his death and resurrection he was on a course laid out by The Father. His destination was to fulfill the prophecies of old and complete his purpose for life here on earth. “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10)
When the time came for him to start his ministry his baptism was an event. John The Baptist baptized Jesus in the river Jordan and confirmed that he was the Son of God. Whenever he arrived in a Village it was a major event. All in the village knew he was coming. And we, as believers, know he is coming again,
We’ve heard that Jesus is coming before. The prophets of old told the people they should expect a messiah. Isaiah told us about John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus. “A voice of one calling in the desert prepare the way for the Lord, make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill will be made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain” (Isaiah 40:3-4). Isaiah also tells us about Jesus’ birth, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). The Prophet Isaiah foretells his life and death. (Isaiah 53: 1-5)
Joseph and Mary were told of the virgin birth of the Son of God. Zechariah and Elizabeth, in their old age, were told that they would have a son that would prepare the way for the coming of Jesus. That son, John the Baptist, confirmed the fact that Jesus is the Son of God.
As Jesus made his way through the villages teaching, preaching, healing the sick and telling the people to “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near” he began to attract large crowds and his arrival was always exciting and anticipated. The streets were full. Wherever he arrived, lives were changed…miracles happened and sins were forgiven. Jesus taught through parables and spoke with authority and passion. He came to the villages to heal the sick and infirm; to seek and to save the lost. The people in the villages were told as Jesus came near, “Jesus is coming”. As he approached all wanted to see this Jesus. They had heard about His teaching and the miracles He performed along the way. The people were praising God and singing, laying palm branches along the streets where Jesus passed. The people shouted, “Blessed be the name of the Lord! “ “Peace in Heaven and glory to God in the highest“
The leaders of the church began to notice his following. They felt their authority was being challenged and told Jesus to rebuke his disciples and tell them to be quiet. Jesus said “If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out” (Luke 19: 40). The coming of Jesus has been a powerful occurrence all through history.
The first time He came as a baby born to a carpenter and a young girl in a stable in the small town of Bethlehem. A quiet event that soon grew into a major event in the emerging Christian world. As Jesus grew and attracted followers, his arrival always caused excitement. All the teaching and the miracles he performed caused his following to become massive. When he arrived in Jerusalem the crowd were overwhelming. The authorities were amazed at the following he had and plotted to get rid of him.
He was abused, mocked and finally killed because of His teachings. Jesus wiped away the sins of the world when he shed his innocent blood on the cross. The pure, perfect Lamb of God, defeated death and rose up from the grave to live again. He promised that He would come again and He will. In Matthew 24:44 we read, “Therefore you must also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him.” We don’t know when He will arrive but we do know He is on the way. Jesus is coming. Are we ready for this glorious second coming? Some of us may have already made our journey to glory when this happens. Paul tells us “When Christ appears, who is your life, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:4).
The hope of all Christians is the return of Jesus Christ to this world. He will come this time with great power and glory to judge and reign. When the trumpet sounds and He appears, every eye will see Him as He breaks through the clouds with His holy angels and those believers who have died earlier.
How do we know this to be true? After Jesus was taken up into Heaven, the Apostles were standing in the vicinity of Bethany in amazement when they were told by men who appeared, dressed in white, that Jesus would return just as he had left them.
The second coming of Jesus will be a joyous occasion for Christians; an event too glorious for words. Something we have been waiting for many years and for many lifetimes. Our eternal home is in Heaven and there all of the promises made by God will be fulfilled. For non-believers it will be a time of fear. Their future holds an eternity of terror and suffering with the evil one and his demons that have tempted and tortured us here on earth. They and Satan will be cast into the lake of Fire. And spend eternity separated from God.
Jesus has promised he will return to take us home. Jesus is coming, We know our assignment is to continue to tell all we come in contact with about the Jesus we know. We must tell everyone about our Jesus’ love for us; how he gave his life for our sins only to rise from the grave and live again. We must commit our remaining days here on earth to The Great Commission and claim the promise that Jesus made as he ascended into Heaven. He told the Apostles, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
Jesus is coming. When? We don’t know when but we do know we must continue to tell our story: the story of Jesus in our life and be ready when he arrives -- He is on the way.