Two ways to experience it: Listen or Read. Either way, enjoy!
Landon woke to the annoying sound of buzzing. He reached for the night stand and pulled the phone close to his face. Through squinted lids his eyes struggled to focus.“Jesus has returned. Check the News.”
Rather than respond to this cryptic intrusion, he obeyed, stumbling zombie-like to his living room. This better not be a prank, he thought. His toe found the corner of the couch with a painful thump. He let out a whispered curse as he sank wearily into the under-stuffed couch cushions. With remote in hand he depressed the power button and found he didn’t need to flip the channel. There it was, breaking news. Apparently it wasn’t a prank. The broadcaster was in mid sentence.
“—stunning. Believers from all religions are making their way to the middle east today in expectation of seeing the self-proclaimed Christ. He has been hailed as the Buddhist Maitreya, the Hindu’s Krishna, the Jewish Messiah, the Christian Christ, and the Islamic Esa. Local affiliate footage captured yesterday at dawn—“
The news caster continued to give commentary as b-roll footage played. Landon leaned in toward the screen. His mouth fell open as he witnessed a man slowly descend from the sky and land on the dust of a middle eastern landscape. The screen flashed to a different scene. This rugged character with dark complexion spoke to a crowd of listeners as more and more pressed in to hear. Another shot reveled the so-called messiah healing a woman with the obvious signs of handicap. Landon felt sick at his stomach. Could it be?
He got the coffee pot running, turned on some lights, and settled in to catch up on the last 24 hours of news. By the time the sun was up Landon felt numb. A constant stream of coverage followed the man they were calling Yeshua. Hundreds of camera phones captured each miracle from multiple angles. There was no lack of proof. Something was definitely happening in Jerusalem.
Landon’s phone rang at 6:54am. He hurried into the bedroom to grab it, stubbing his toe again. He really needed to move that couch. He put the phone to his ear as he eased back into the unforgiving cushions.
came the voice on the other end. It was Christi.
“It’s something. I’m not sure unbelievable is the right word,” Landon replied.
“I mean, in a good way. It’s just the craziest thing. It’s actually happening.”
“Do you think it’s for real?” he asked.
“Are you seeing the same thing I am? Obviously it’s real,” Christi said with utter conviction. Although completely compelling, Landon felt uneasy.
This is not how he expected to feel when faced with images of the risen, and returned Christ. He expected to be overjoyed. He had looked forward to Christ’s return his entire life. Why was he not thrilled?
“I just don’t understand why we weren’t raptured, or why the tribulation didn’t happen. He was supposed to come riding on a white horse with a double-edged sword. I feel really confused,” Landon said.
“Nobody expected him to be born in a manger either.”
“Yeah, but if this is Jesus we were way off. It’s just unsettling,” He said as he flipped the channel to see if any other network had new footage.
“Landon, seriously. Aren’t you excited? Jesus has come back. It’s what we’ve been waiting for!”Christi said, nearly singing. Landon wanted to share her enthusiasm but he had always struggled with emotional displays of exuberance. He didn’t respond right away. He felt like his brain had been squeezed into the back half of his skull. He was mentally exhausted from the media onslaught. He needed some time to consider what he’d seen.
“I think I’ll call Pastor Edwards and see what he thinks,” Landon said. Christi thought that was a good idea. After a friendly goodbye he set the phone down next to him. He would call the pastor, but at the moment he was still mesmerized by what he was seeing.
If this was truly Jesus, then the Kingdom of God had just begun. However, Landon didn’t feel any different. Where were the trumpets? Could the end times really have snuck by so unceremoniously? He had expected something more dramatic to usher in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, but here he was in his boxer shorts, with a double stubbed toe, watching TV. What a disappointing beginning to eternity. As he thought about what it all meant something else occurred to him.
What if it’s not Jesus?
Chills raced up his spine. If this miracle worker is not the risen Lord… Landon picked up the phone. He had some questions for the pastor.