These next verses describe the culmination of all the other signs pointing to the return of Christ. But before we read them we need to realise again that the Messianic future is known in the mind of this generation of Jesus. They have been brought up on familiar passages of Scripture such as the following:
“The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.” (Isaiah 13 v 10)
“All the stars in the sky will be dissolved and the heavens rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like shrivelled figs from the fig tree.” (Isaiah 34 v 4)
“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” (Daniel 7 v 13-14)
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (Zechariah 12 v 10)
They literally can recite these verses verbatim. Now let’s read what Jesus says:
“Immediately after the distress of those days, “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” (Matthew 24 v 29-31)
- The Magi saw a star in the sky and believed it was a sign of a King had been born; John in his gospel reminds us of the signs Jesus gave in his miracles that He was the Messiah; This next time the sign will be for the culmination of the whole world.
- He has darkened the skies before (the cross) and He will do it again. When He did it around the cross it spoke loudly of the victory over sin and death. This next time it will speak loudly of His victory over all the nations of the world, His world.
- Angels announced the arrival of the baby Jesus; the resurrection of the Lord; and they will announce the coming of the Son of Man. They will gather all the believers together.
When I live in the light of this sign then everything pales into insignificance; I am reminded that He is in control of the world; evil doesn’t win; good will triumph.