One thousand years is a long time to wait. Around the year 1000 B.C. or a little thereafter, God made a promise to King David. He promised that David’s family would produce a king whose kingdom would last forever. For many years, the coming of this king was greatly anticipated. This was especially true after the break-up of the Kingdom of Israel, and after the exile of the Jews to Babylon. Prophets foretold the coming of a Messiah King. But hope for his coming seemed very foolish.
Why was hope in the Messiah a foolish thing? It was foolish because that Messiah never seemed to come. Generation after generation, the Jewish people became more and more subjugated. First, the Babylonians conquered them. Then, it was the Persians. Then, it was Alexander the Great and the Greeks. Finally, the Romans came to dominate their area. While such worldly threats existed, the idea of a Messiah seemed laughable. It seemed like a fairy tale from an era long gone, literally from 1000 years ago. Why bother with such fantasies? But into this situation, Jesus was born.
Does this sound familiar to you? We profess that Jesus is coming again, but do we really believe it? We look around at our world – does anyone seem to focus on the Second Coming of Christ (aside from a few odd ball preachers)? Do we live like people who expect to see the Christ? Do we run our institutions like we are preparing for Christ to come again? The very idea of a second coming seems to be a fairy tale from the age of Christianity, which has ended. Now, in the secular age, we have no such dangerous religious fervor.
But if we believe that Jesus came the first time, and that Jesus comes to us through the Church today, then we must believe that He will come again! It is an article of faith that we cannot ignore. Some of the imagery behind the second coming may seem silly, especially in light of the saturating of our minds with Hollywood special effects. Regardless of what the Second Coming will actually look like, through faith we can be sure it will happen.
That Second Coming will be a judgment of our faith and our righteous deeds. That judgment will end the time of choosing. All people will see Christ, and those who have loved Him will be with Him. Our bodies will be glorified. All death and division will end. There will be peace! There will be justice! All of these beautiful things will follow the Second Coming of Christ. Just as it was silly to believe in Messiah’s first coming in 0 A.D., it is equally as silly to believe in the Second Coming in 2012 A.D. But the first coming happened! If we believe in our past, we must believe in our future, too!