Thread: The Unexpected "First Going"
July 22nd 2010, 12:22 PM #1
The Unexpected "First Going"
(Originally posted here at The Preterist Blog.)
In an eschatological series back home at my blog, I'm going through some of the assumptions often read into texts concerning the "end times." Related to the assumptions I've already highlighted concerning Christ's "second coming," there is another assumption often made when we read mention of His "coming" prior to His death, namely that they expected a "first going" to begin with! After all, if prior to the crucifixion the disciples didn't really understand that He was going to "go" in the first place, then when they spoke of His "coming" it could not have been His final return at the end of time that they had in mind.
As we will see, not only does this assumption lack any warrant as was the case with the previous assumptions we've examined, but it goes contrary to the biblical evidence which strongly suggests they had no idea Jesus was going anywhere.
WHAT WILL BE THE SIGN OF YOUR COMING?
1 Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. 2 And He said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down." 3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" (Matthew 24:1-3, NASB; see also Mark 13:1-4 and Luke 21:5-7)
As to what "the end of the age" means and what exactly each of Jesus' predictions actually referred to, those are not the subjects of this article. Rather, I want to examine the overlooked but obvious assumption underlying the assumption that the "coming" about which they asked was Christ's "second coming." If that was the event they had in mind when they asked their question, then they must have expected Him to die and "go" first. Did they really?
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