Today's post will focus upon Jesus' teaching on the tribulation period in His final public sermon. To understand what is meant by "The Tribulation Period", let me review briefly from our last post. In our last post we concluded the following regarding the Old Testament's teaching about the Tribulation period:
1. The Tribulation period will be an unprecedented time of human history, occurring at the end of this age.
The tribulation period is so-called due to how God will pour out what is called His "eschatological wrath" (that is, "His final expression of judgment") upon this world's unbelieving system and inhabitants. It is called by other names ("Day of the Lord" - Zephaniah 1:15; "Daniel's seventieth week" - Daniel 9:23-27; and "time of Jacob's trouble" - Jeremiah 30:7. just to name a few).
2. The Tribulation period's purpose, in addition to God's judging of this world, is prepare Israel to meet her Messiah (see Zechariah 12 and 14, as well as Romans 11:25 and Revelation 14).
3. The Tribulation period's duration will be seven years.
4. A tyrannical ruler will attempt to blaspheme God and lead the whole world astray in outright rebellion again God.
Jesus' teaching on the Tribulation period
Jesus is recorded saying the following about the tribulation period in Matthew 24:21-22
Some specific observations about the tribulation period from Jesus' teaching in His sermon on the Mount of Olives.
There is much more that could be said about Jesus' teaching, but we can note a few points about the Tribulation from these texts:
A. Jesus utilizes Daniel's prophecies throughout His sermon, meaning that He uses similar language to describe a future seven year period, divided into two equal 3 1/2 year periods, with the latter being the most severe (see Daniel 9:23-27 and Daniel 12:1-3).
B. Jesus refers to the whole period as "The Tribulation Period" (Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24) and the latter half as "The Great Tribulation" (Matthew 24:21). Jesus uses phrases from Daniel 9:23-27 and Daniel 12 to describe this period as being unprecedented.
C. In all three passages there is reference made to a fairly near event future to Jesus' time as well as the far future tribulation period. The near future event of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D acts as a template to preview what will be the final seven year tribulation period spoken of in Daniel.
D. Jesus' continuity with Daniel's prophecies gives us a bridge between the Old and New Testament teachings on the Tribulation period. Every passage that follows throughout the New Testament on the Tribulation period does so from Jesus' sermon interpreting the extensive Old Testament treatment on the subject.