Signs of the Coming Days
In these verses, Jesus described a particular time within the period when there will be intense stress. And since Jesus was speaking directly to the disciples, it would seem that He was referring to the most immediate fulfillment of judgment. The destruction of the temple would be revealed through a series of signs.
But along with these signs would come the abomination that causes desolation and it would stand in the center of the holy place. Jesus referred them to the words of Daniel the prophet, who foretold what would take place. Daniel prophesied not just once but three times, in Daniel 9:27, 11:31, and 12:11.
So what is this abomination that causes desolation? We are not told all the details. Whatever it is, it is a horrendous event, a sacrilegious act against God and God’s people!
Daniel himself speaks of an invasion from the north by an army that defiles the temple. Most scholars agree that this referred to the desecration of the temple in 168 BC by Antiochus Epiphanies. He was a Syrian who discounted Jewish worship, built his own altar on the altar of God in the temple in Jerusalem, and placed swine and other unclean animals on it who were sacrificed. This led to the Maccabean Revolt.
Yet Jesus was implying that the desecration of 168 BC was but a mere shadow of the event to follow. He was likely referring to the desecration of the temple in 70 AD. During the siege of Jerusalem, the Romans destroyed the temple and killed more than one million Jews.
But also, the final fulfillment of the “abomination” will be as Daniel predicted–as the Antichrist sets himself up to be worshiped in the place of God. And yet the prophets promise that these events precede the glorious return of Christ.
When the Lord’s beautiful sacred feet will come down and rest on the Mt. of Olives in victory!
And in verse 21 Jesus promised His people that though this time will be unlike any other, unequaled from the beginning of the world, He promised it will never happen again. Because of His elect, God will cut these days short!
So those who are alive at this time are to hang on. Know that the God who created you, the God who counts the very hairs on your head, the God who has inscribed you on the palm of His hand will not let you suffer longer than necessary!
This too shall pass. Have faith that God is in control, trust Him to see you through, and know that He will be victorious over the evil that arises.
And do not, for heaven’s sake, believe in those who come in His name, for many false Christs will come, spreading false doctrine in the hope of leading you astray. In fact, they will even be empowered by their father the devil to perform many great signs and miracles.
But these are only done so that the elect may be deceived–verse 24 says–if that were possible!
But Jesus said instead, stay rooted and grounded in His truth, trust Him to see you through. For in His Word He promises to never leave you nor forsake you, no matter how difficult things may get!
Those who are sold out for Christ, remember He was sold out for us first! And He has the power and authority to see us through, even if we His people are still here at such a horrific time!
Because of His love for us He will cut these days short. We can find comfort even in that!