25 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
This passage was a part of my daily reading plan through the Literary Study Bible. Verses 25-26 express terrifying things–the distress of nations, signs in sun, moon and stars, perplexity, people fainting with fear and foreboding, and the powers of the heavens shaken. Is this literal or figurative? Does it even really matter? In a way it does, because I want to know, I don’t want to guess, or “wait and see”–but that’s my propensity. I always wish there was more in scripture-more background story, more front ground description, more explanation of parables and stories and Job and Psalms and Jonah. But alas, God has decreed that the words that we have are the words that we have.
So as I was reading this paragraph, I found my self stopped at verse 27: 27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Wow. But it wasn’t even that heart stopping scene that got my attention. It’s the verse AFTER that:
28 Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Do you see the astonishing, mind boggling words that Jesus is saying? He is telling his followers, the believers that when He comes–when the Son of Man comes in a cloud with power and glory, then the believers should STRAIGHTEN UP and RAISE YOUR HEADS, because your redemption is drawing near.
Since becoming a believer I have thought, and longed for, the day that Jesus comes again, for I am ready to go home. I am ready to go home. But I never imagined that Jesus would have me straighten up and raise my head—I always pictured myself cowering before Him, hoping that I am one of His children, that I’ve been adopted and grafted into His family, fearful that somehow I’ve not been. Bowing in fear and trembling and respect and awe. And fear.
Straighten up and Raise your heads. Straighten Up and Raise Your Heads, for redemption is drawing near. What does redemption mean? It means rescue. It means deliverance from sin. It means being redeemed. It means straightening up and raising your heads to look into Jesus’ eyes. Eyes are important. I want to have the courage to look into Jesus’ eyes and see in His eyes redemption and love that I can not even begin to comprehend.