By Stephen Leonard
“So beginning with the 15th day of the seventh month (in the Hebrew calendar, this is between September and October), after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the LORD for seven days…On the first day, you are to take branches from luxuriant trees (many varying trees with colored leaves) and rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days.” Leviticus 23:39-40
Fall is certainly a favorite season of mine, though there are definitely parts of every season I love. Fall brings crisper, cooler weather, radiant blue skies, and sunny days not stifled by humid heat. And, of course, the diverse, spectacular colors of fall leaves!
The Creator gave us not one season, but four. He gave us springtime and harvest, summer and winter. He gave us rain and snow, hail and sleet, clouds and bright sun. And all is beautiful in its time.
Certainly, we thrill to the kaleidoscope of spring flowers in glorious bloom. But we perhaps thrill even more to the magnificence of whole forests splayed out in spectacular reds, yellows, oranges, and browns, inflaming an entire hill, mountain, or lakeside. How could our great God paint His creation any more beautifully?
You can take from the lessons of Fall the ever-constant reminder of our LORD’s quickly, coming soon, return; as you do from the celebration of Advent near the start of winter. The Fall is spectacular in the display of autumn colors. The LORD’s Second Coming will be even more spectacular, and what is more, every eye on earth and in Heaven will see it.
Somehow, but certainly, God the Father makes such an otherworldly feat possible, for every eye on the round globe of the earth, whether in China or Mexico, will see Jesus’ Return immediately when He makes His sudden appearance! How He does this, we do not know. We are only told that this will be just as it is described.
This is why His Return will be stupendous, mesmerizing, and awesome; beyond anything, you can or will ever witness. Everyone will be transfixed; some in great celebration and rejoicing, others in fearful tears and dreadful regret. But Scripture tells us clearly in Revelation 1 everyone on earth and in Heaven will be live witnesses.
We are told Jesus comes “on/with the clouds.” I believe this will be the great cloud of witnesses spoken of in Hebrews 12:1-2; all the saints in Heaven who have preceded those saints remaining on the earth. They will accompany the LORD in His glorious return.
Nothing in all-time presents any greater cataclysm of world events. A small audience viewed Jesus Christ’s ascension into Heaven, but every single eye will view His return! The momentous conclusion of all history is introduced in the twinkling of an eye, the flash of a lightning bolt, as a thief in the night, and all will see this with their own eyes, even the blind!
It cannot be fully or satisfactorily described, but it can be believed by those who trust the veracity of God. Do you? Witness the spectacular colors of the Fall leaves as they appear around you this Fall season, and be reminded of the Coming of the LORD Jesus Christ. “Even so, come Lord Jesus!”
“Lo! He comes with clouds descending, once for favored sinners slain; thousand, thousand saints attending swell the triumph of His train. Alleluia! Alleluia! God appears on earth to reign.”
(1st verse of Charles Wesley’s hymn, “Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending,” 1758)