Since I was a young lad I have heard of the second coming of Christ. I bet you have too. Growing up in an evangelical denomination, I would hear sermon after sermon related to this subject. I have family that believed in dispensationalism. This was and is a belief that there are seven time periods or dispensations beginning with creation. According to these beliefs we are presently living in the sixth dispensation. That means it is just a matter of time before our world enters into this new dispensation. Before this happens the so called “rapture” of the church is supposed to occur and Jesus will return with a host of angels and believers to destroy all of the enemies of God including all the people on earth who do not believe in Jesus. This is supposed to bring a thousand year reign of Jesus to planet earth. There is a lot more information associated with this belief but that is not really what this reflection is about. This reflection is about the second coming of Christ.
I’m going to suggest some things in this reflection that I have stumbled upon recently. It’s funny how some things are hidden in plain view and it has taken me over sixty years to see them. I shared in a previous reflection that the so called “rapture” of the church is not even in the Bible. According to the Gospel of John chapter seventeen and verse fifteen Jesus prays to his Abba (daddy) not to take us out of the world but to protect us from the evil one.
Ever since I first heard about the second coming of Jesus Christ it has always been relayed as a future event. Its as though Jesus didn’t do all he was supposed to do the first time around and now he has to come back to finish what he started. In other words, saying “It is finished” from the cross really didn’t mean anything. What? Think about that statement for a minute. The way the book of Revelation has been interpreted by some, Jesus will return taking names and destroying who ever and what ever gets in his way.
Allow me to suggest that we may be a little confused regarding various interpretations of scripture. We seem to be fed up with how evil has so influenced our world till it seems we have created an interpretation of scripture that satisfies our sense of justice. Jesus indicated that the “enemy” comes not but for to steal and kill and destroy. Jesus goes on to say that he has come to give life and to give it more abundantly. Jesus is not the destroyer. Jesus is the Prince of Peace! Unfortunately a lot of these destructive ideas in recent history come from the “Left Behind” series.
I want to suggest a thought that may seem somewhat radical at first. What I’m asking you to consider may mean that you have to put aside, at least for a second or two, everything you have ever been told about the second coming of Jesus Christ. What if the second coming of Christ has already occurred? Bear with me for just a moment. We are getting ready to celebrate the Christmas season once again. The advent season indicates the coming of the Christ child. I suggest to you that this was the first coming of Jesus. Thirty three years has come and gone and now this Jesus is hanging from a Roman cross. He is recorded to say, “It is finished” and breathes his last physical breath. His body is placed in a borrowed tomb complete with a Roman Seal. On the third day something miraculous occurs. That’s right, the body of Jesus is resurrected from the grave.
I want to hold up for your consideration the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Think about it for a moment. Jesus’ first appearance on planet earth was in bodily form as an infant just like all of us. Jesus’ second appearance on planet earth was when he came forth from that borrowed tomb the Savior and Redeemer of mankind. I submit to you that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was in fact his second coming!