Summary: The entrance described for Jesus Christ in the Bible at His Second coming will be bigger and grander than anything we have ever seen in a movie or imagined from a book or even speculated about and we should grow in faith while we wait.
INTRODUCTION/ILLUSTRATION… Grand Entrances denofgeek.com/movies/the-25-most-iconic-movie-entrances/ [adapted]
Some entrances in movies are made to get your attention.
The scene is a boat. Not just any boat, but a pirate ship. We see a pirate standing atop of his ship’s mast, his hair flapping in the sea breeze as he pulls into port, at first looking every bit the impressive and dashing outlaw. He is a swashbuckling pirate after all! It’s only once the camera angle changes and we realize he is clinging to the remains of a sinking ship and he’s a far more of a shambolic pirate than we perhaps first thought. However, his perfectly timed step ashore did also show that while he may be far from perfect, he does it all with a definite sense of style. And so we meet Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean.
In a different movie, director Steven Spielberg builds the tension perfectly in a story written by Michael Crichton. It is the slow build up to the reveal that makes the eventual appearance all the more powerful. “Maybe it’s the power coming back on?!” “Where is the goat?” “He left us. He left us.” “Keep absolutely still, his vision is based on movement.” From the rippling water in the cup to the falling rain and the dismembered goat to that unforgettable roar, we are already terrified of this creature before we’ve even seen it. When it does finally arrive, the T-Rex storms on to the screen and immediately imposed its status as the apex predator of the Jurassic world. The rest of the movie Jurassic Park is then played out with the unsettling knowledge that this hulking death machine is out there somewhere, waiting to strike.
In the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the elusive Willy Wonka is painted as something of a chocolate magnate mystery by Charlie and his family. As a result, when the big reveal finally arrives, it appears almost underwhelming at first as the gathered crowds witness what appears to be a peculiarly dressed old man shuffling towards them down a red carpet, resting on his cane and struggling for balance. Finally, the man stops, teeters forwards and appears to fall, only at the last minute to turn it into a perfect forward roll coupled with a sprightly leap and a beaming smile. Willy Wonka lets people into his secretive world, but that doesn’t mean he won’t keep a few tricks up his sleeve.
ENTRANCES ARE IMPORTANT
Entrances and first impressions are important. We all know that. A firm handshake is important. Answers to questions in a job interview are a huge deciding factor when getting a job. Showing up at a date’s house empty handed is bad. Entrances and first impressions are important.
I can’t help but think this is why we are amazed at Genesis 1. We are introduced to God in Genesis 1 when He speaks the world into existence. That is power! That is amazing! That is a memorable entrance where God fashions all of existence from His thoughts and speaks the world into existence. It also can’t help but think this is why we wonder a little bit in Matthew 1. Jesus Christ comes on the scene and He is… He is… a baby. God incarnate shows up on the scene and He arrives to an unwed mother in a barn. Not the greatest first impression.
May I suggest that we don’t give up on Jesus. Jesus will make an entrance that every single eye will see. His entrance will not be on a sinking boat or a trickster falling over. His entrance will not be underwhelming in any way. The passage that we are going to read from today describes the Second Coming of Jesus.
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. 4 Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring. 5 This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— 6 since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might, 10 when He comes on that day to be glorified in His saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. 11 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by His power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.