Have you seen the curious sign? The one on the I-70 stretch between the Colorado-Utah border and Green River? It says “Watch for eagles on highway.”
In years of traveling that section, I’ve seen only big black crows swooping down for road kill. My wife thinks there is an eagle preserve nearby.
More baffling is Jesus’ statement in Matthew 24:28: “For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.” The Greek word PTOMA means “dead body.”
What in the world was Jesus talking about?
One margin note says “The spiritual application here is that, where moral corruption exists, divine judgment falls.” I’m sure that’s true but what’s that got to do with what Jesus said! Just as good a guess would be to say it refers to saints flying into the wilderness on jet wings and their carry-ons!
The Bible explains itself—here a little, there a little, like a jigsaw puzzle (Isaiah 28:13).
The big piece: Isaiah 40:31 compares God’s faithful people to eagles.
Jesus was once again using a remez—a phase that would make His hearers think of something earlier from the Word of God. They would think back to Job 39:27-30.
Like eagles, God’s faithful people will mount up at His commands (1 John 2:2-4, 5:3, Revelation 14:12, 22:14). They will abide on the Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4). The prey they seek afar off is that of Matthew 6:33).
Of special note is verse 30: “and where the slain (Hebrew CHALAL = “pierced to death body”) are, there is she.”
In context, Matthew 24:28 and its similar scripture in Luke 17:37 are in chapters about the coming Kingdom of God, the events immediately preceding Christ’s second coming and the first resurrection.
Jesus is the pierced body, resurrected after being a carcass for three days and three nights. For 40 days after His resurrection He appeared to His faithful people and, like eagles, they gathered around Him.
The most important gathering will be at the first resurrection. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 gives the triumphant news that at the seventh trumpet the saints will be caught up together in the clouds and forever be with the Lord!
But what is the relevance of eagles gathering around the body today?
Pentecost this Sunday, May 24th celebrates the start of the Church of God, His body, to carry out the Work of God in announcing the coming Kingdom of God (Matthew 24:14).
This biblical Holy Day teaches about the first fruits who “follow the Lamb wherever He goes” (Revelation 15:4). Eagles going where He is! Jesus is going … with His body the spiritual Church, which He is still head and leader of (Colossians 1:18).
At the end, will we know the difference between His Church and the great mystery church, and between the false prophet and the returning Christ? Warns the Bible, most will carry on as in the days of Noah … and become carrion.
Wake up, moose! Wake up eagles! Where the body is, gather there.
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