Today's Reading: Matthew 24:15-28
"Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. (Matthew 24:15-16)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Jesus told His disciples what the End Times would be like. There would be an abomination of desolation and they would have to flee to the mountains. What is this abomination? What is this horrible thing in the holy place? Look no further than Calvary to see it upon the cross. The despised. The rejected. The hated. The sins of the world. All hung there on Jesus. All laid upon Him. There the Son of God was MADE sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21)--to save us.
When we hear of such a thing what do we do? Flee to the mountains--to Mount Zion, the holy church where the One who was once abominable in our sins is now triumphant over sin and death. Mount Zion, the Holy Church where Jesus gives us His life-giving Word and Sacraments. Mount Zion, the Holy Church where we are rescued from the evil things which are tearing this world apart. Mount Zion, the Holy Church where Jesus reigns, no longer an abomination but risen and glorified.
Jesus was talking about that. His words also pointed to the day when the Romans would destroy Jerusalem and burn the temple to the ground. Can you imagine? A temple without God's presence. It's horrible to contemplate but that's exactly what was awaiting those who denied Christ and wanted nothing to do with Him.
But where Christ is, the abomination is gone. The holy place is restored. Sinners are saved. Sins are blotted out. Iniquities and trespasses are forgiven and covered. Salvation is delivered. Eternal life is gained. Jesus became the worst of the worst, so that He could made you the best of the best alongside Him in heaven. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty God, we implore You, show Your mercy unto Your humble servants, that we who put no trust in our own merits may not be dealt with after the severity of Your judgment, but according to Your mercy; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for the Third-Last Sunday)