Monday, January 14, 2013

“Until You Are Glad To See Me”

O Jerusalem! Jerusalem!  The city that kills the prophets, and stones those who are sent to her!  How often would I have gathered your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not.  Behold!  Your house is left to you, desolate.   I tell you, you will by no means see me again until you say,
Blessed is he who is coming in the name of the Lord.’”
Matthew 23:37-39

This is one of those prophecies that takes your breath away when you consider the gravity of it.  Israel rejected Jesus, the Messiah, and so, a few days before he was crucified, he tells them, “You will never see me again until you are so glad to see me that you thank God for my coming.”
Over the past two thousand years, every attempt of believers to persuade the nation of Israel that Jesus was their Messiah has failed, and no such attempt will ever succeed.  The body of Christ cannot persuade the Jewish nation to believe; they cannot receive, as a nation, the grace of God in Christ because in order to receive him, they must rejoice just to see him coming!  Jesus said so, in the scriptures above.
How will this ever happen?  How can the nation of Israel ever be persuaded to rejoice to see Jesus coming, when they do not believe that he is their Messiah?  God has a plan.
The apostle John was shown a vision of the end, when the whole nation of Israel will rejoice to see Jesus coming to them.  They will rejoice greatly when they see him coming because he will be coming down from heaven with his army of saints to rescue the nation from the Beast and his armies.  The prophet Zechariah tells us that the Beast’s armies will overrun Israel, pillaging the cities and countryside, and killing two-thirds of the population.  Their plight will seem hopeless, and they will be desperately pleading with God to save them from their annihilation that will seem certain as the Beast and his armies enter Jerusalem and begin sacking that city, too.
Then, in the sky, they will see someone coming against the Beast.  He and his army will be on white horses, and in just a moment, “with the sword of his mouth”, he obliterates hundreds of thousands in the armies of the Beast, and the Beast himself is taken captive and carried away by an angel.
Yes, Israel will shout for joy and say in that day, “Blessed is he who is coming in the name of the Lord!”  Then, when this hero from heaven strides through the ashes of the Beast’s army and enters Jerusalem, someone will ask him about scars they see in his hands:

Zechariah 13
6. And one will say to him, “What are these wounds in your hands?”  And he will answer, “Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.”

When the Jews learn who their Savior is, they will fall on their faces and repent of their hardness of heart.  The young prophet Zechariah foretells of God’s merciful response to Israel’s confession and repentance:

Zechariah 12
10. Then, I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and of supplication.  And they will look on me whom they pierced. . . .

Zechariah 13
1. In that day, there will be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness.
2. And it will come to pass in that day, says the Lord of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they will no longer be remembered.  I will also drive out of the land the false prophets and the spirit of sin.
Yes, there is coming a day when all Israel will say of Jesus, “Blessed is he who is coming in the name of the Lord!”  And on that day (but not until then), Israel will see Jesus again, just as he said.