Luke 21:25-28 (NKJV) “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
I used to quote this all the time, “Look up. For your redemption draws near,” but when you look at it in context of the rest of the Scriptures, we see something different.
This doesn’t discount Romans 13:11-14, but this passage of Scripture is connected to Revelation 6:12-17 (NKJV)
“I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
When will the Lord come in great power and great glory? Not at the rapture of the church, but at the Second Coming of Christ.
Revelation 19:11-16 (NKJV)
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
KING OF KINGS AND
LORD OF LORDS.“
Remember in the very first Scripture in this text that the sun, moon, and stars are mentioned?
Joel 2:28-32 (NKJV)
“And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
“And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.
And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the LORD
Shall be saved.
For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance,
As the LORD has said,
Among the remnant whom the LORD calls.”
Peter quotes this in Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost. As a side note, the Day of Pentecost is also known as the Feast of Weeks. 49 days after the Feast of Firstfruits, the Jews were to celebrate a feast and on the 50th day after the Sabbath which would be Passover, on the 50th day, it would be Pentecost.
But the point is that the Lord would come during the final year of the 7 year tribulation period as prophesied in Daniel chapters 9 and 12, and Zechariah chapters 12, 13, and 14.
The Lord Jesus explained this in Matthew 24 about the “abomination of desolation.”
So the Jews are to look up, for their redemption draws near when they’re being killed in the second half of the great tribulation period. It would be at the end of the 1,260 days, or 42 weeks that the Lord Jesus would appear in great power and great glory to save Israel from destruction.
Luke 21:20-24 (NKJV)
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”
It’s a message to the Jews, not the church. Again we don’t discount Romans 13:11-14.
But that’s what it means as far as the Jews are concerned, to “Look up. For your redemption draws near.”