Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. —Carl Sagan
Have you ever had a flight delayed during the summer after you’ve boarded? It’s the worst. It doesn’t matter if the shades are closed. Those nickel-sized vents do nothing. The truth is that you are sitting in an oversized crockpot on an asphalt tarmac. It’s a slow death.
How about when the wait isn’t for a mechanical issue, but for a delayed passenger? Don’t get me wrong, I’d be one happy camper if a gate agent delayed a plane for me. But think of the pressure as you walk on the plane—late? Everyone is looking at you thinking; We almost died of heatstroke waiting for you.
It’s an imperfect analogy for Jesus’ delay in returning, but it gives us an image. Jesus isn’t waiting simply so that time can pass. He isn’t waiting for plans to be finalized. He’s waiting for people.
But we see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor … so that by the grace of God, he might taste death for everyone. (Hebrews 2:9)
This verse is all about the Incarnation. Jesus came to earth. Why? To suffer death. He came for the cross as the cross was His gift of grace for everyone. But people still need to hear of the gift, and so He waits.
This is why we are living in the “until.” We are between Jesus’ sitting at the right hand of the Father and the day that suffering ends as enemies are defeated. Why are we in-between? Because people must hear. God wants everyone to have an opportunity to experience Life.
And so, like the gate agent holding the plane, God holds back the Day of Judgment because the day Jesus claims victory over His enemies is the very last day people can be saved.
Father, the love you have for each of us individually is beyond understanding. I get lost in its depth and height and width and length. Thank you for waiting for me and for those I love. I ask Your Spirit to love deeply through me so that I have the courage to invite everyone into the Gospel of grace. Amen.