Friday, September 23, 2011
The clouds tell the story. In between the time God promised to send a Savior and the moment the angels sang in the sky above Bethlehem, and in between the day Jesus ascended into heaven and the day He will descend from heaven, clouds have been and continue to be a constant reminder to us of God's presence.
For behind every dark cloud in the Scriptures, there's a glimmering golden Gospel lining.
After Creation and after the fall into sin, the sin and evil on the earth became so great that God had to destroy the earth by way of a Flood. And though He had to punish the sin and judge the evildoers, He also promised to save the one faithful family left - Noah and his wife and family - 8 people in all.
After the flood, God gave Noah and his family a sign when he placed a rainbow in the clouds.
It was the sign of God’s promise to Noah, and to all mankind, that he would not destroy the earth again with a flood.
The rainbow in the clouds remind us even today that God always keeps his promises.
God led the Children of Israel out of Egypt, into the wilderness, and into the promised land with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. When God gave Moses the law at Mt. Sinai, a great cloud enveloped the mountain as He spoke. And God appeared to Aaron in the temple on the Day of Atonement in a cloud in the Holy of Holies.
Later when Israel rebelled, the glory of the Lord left the Temple in Jerusalem, in a cloud.
But the cloud returned when Messiah came, as God spoke in a cloud at the transfiguration of Jesus.
Jesus ascended into heaven in a cloud, and He will come again with the clouds, when we will be caught up with Him in the sky on the Last Day.
The clouds tell the story - the story of a promise kept.
Jesus is the promise kept, the ultimate example of God's promise fulfilled. All of the promises of God are yes and amen in Jesus Christ. He is the answer to all of the covenant promises of God. He is the promised Messiah, the Savior and Redeemer of the world, for God laid on Him our sins and the sins of all the world. The ransom is paid, the redemption completed, the promise kept. We are forgiven and set free.
And yet, we still live in the between time, in the now and the not yet.
So in this in between time we hold fast to the promises of God, as we with all creation await the time when God will fulfill his final promise once and for all.
Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again. Of this we can be sure.
So we don't need to spend all our time gazing up at the clouds, looking into the mystery of what may or may not happen in the future. No, our job is to thank, praise, serve, and obey Him until He comes again ....
when He comes with the clouds.
Remember - behind every cloud is a golden lining of the Gospel, and the story of God’s great love for you in Jesus Christ.