Prophecy watchers (for lack of a better term) are an interesting group of people; a group of people that I love to be around. There is something special about gathering with a group of people, whether small or large, all sharing a passion for watching these last days unfold just as the prophetic scriptures have indicated. There is something special about sharing the excitement and anticipation of knowing that our Lord Jesus is coming back very soon.
And that's what its really all about. Waiting for Him. Jesus.
This is why we watch the news and the various events unfolding around the world - all of which tell us daily that our days on this earth are drawing to a close. We don't watch the news in order to be proven "correct" about our prophetic views, or any other alternative reason. Most prophecy watchers that I know all share one common driving force - and that is simply a focus or an obsession with Jesus Himself and a deep deep longing and desire to be with Him.
Its really is that simple.
Its hard to imagine what it will be like on that day - at that very moment when we actually see his face - up close and in person. When we actually have a chance to speak with Him directly and personally. When we can thank Him for what He did on that cross.
This time of year, I always reflect on the unimaginable sacrifice that He made for all of us.
An article used to circulate every Easter (I forget the title or the author's name), as written by a physician, who detailed the physical pain and suffering that Jesus experienced on His last days. It is too long and complicated, but the pain that Jesus experienced as a result of the beatings, the scourging, carrying the cross through the streets of Jerusalem, the nails, the internal bleeding, the external bleeding, the crown of thorns, the asphyxiation, and all during a period of near shock. This was the most brutal death that a human could endure.
And all during that time, as typical for Jesus, His only concern was for those around Him.
- He forgave those who were putting him on the cross and mocking and beating Him.
- He made sure that John would attend to and take care of Mary.
- He concerned Himself with the person next to Him on the cross, and granted him salvation based on his belief.
But more importantly, He did it for all of us. He endured every bit of that - not just the pain and suffering, but also the taking on our sins - so that He could be with us for eternity.
He loves us that much.
With that in mind, Jesus also gave comfort to His apostles, just before His arrest just days earlier. He was concerned about the anguish, pain and fear that they would experience as He was taken away to be crucified. And He gave them these words:
"Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Trust in God; trust also in me.
In my Father's house there are many rooms;
if it were not so, I would have told you.
I am going there to prepare a place for you.
And if I go there to prepare a place for you,
I will come back and take you to be with me
that you also may be where I am."
This passage, of course, is revealing the process of the ancient Jewish Wedding. And that takes us to the following articles - two articles which remind us of this entire marriage process and the parallels to the Rapture of the Church. The third article, as written by Joel Rosenberg, puts this season in perspective and is well worth reading.
The bottom line?
Jesus paid the purchase price for His Bride when He died on the cross that day in Jerusalem. After a brief stay on the earth following His resurrection, He went back to the Father's house in order to prepare a place for His Bride, the Church. And just as the bridegroom in ancient times would return to the Father's house to prepare the living arrangements for the couple, Jesus has returned to the Father's house to prepare New Jerusalem - our eternal home (Revelation 3:12, 21:2, 21:9-10 and Revelation 21,22).
The next step in this progression of events is the groom, Jesus, coming back for His Bride - The Church.
Our blessed hope:
The Rapture and the Jewish Wedding Model
Jewish Marriage Customs: Behold, The Bridegroom Comes!
Do You Know Him?