Jesus speaks to the disciples in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21, using language that depicts a dismantling of the world they lived in. Jesus isn’t the first person to use this language. The prophet Isaiah, Joel, Zephaniah, and others will use similar language to depict a dismantling of the world also. However, each time this language (uncreation language) is used, we aren’t expected to take it literally. There will be a dismantling of the worlds that the prophets and Jesus speak of but it will be a dismantling of the their religious, political, and cultural world. We aren’t expected to understand that the universe will be “taken apart” by God and refashioned every time a prophet announces such warnings. Each warning has a particular audience in mind.
When Jesus uses “uncreation” language He intends to warn His generation of Jews of God’s impending judgment. God does not want to judge Israel for its unbelief (Matthew 23:37-39) but He must. God’s decision to act judicially whereby He executes wrath and punishment upon the Jewish Temple and city of Jerusalem by destroying them is another way to say that the kingdom of God has been revealed. The carrying out of the decision to punish was an indication of God acting as their King. He’s demonstrating the fact that He (Jesus, the Son of man) is on the Davidic throne.
Matthew 24:29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Mark 13:24-26 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.
Luke 21:25-27 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
Isaiah 13:9-10 Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light.
Isaiah 34:1-5 Nations, draw near to hear, and give attention, O peoples! Let the earth hear, and all that fills it; the world, and all that comes from it. For the LORD is enraged against all the nations, and furious against all their host; he has devoted them to destruction, has given them over for slaughter. Their slain shall be cast out, and the stench of their corpses shall rise; the mountains shall flow with their blood. All the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll. All their host shall fall, as leaves fall from the vine, like leaves falling from the fig tree. My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens; it descends for judgment upon Edom, the people I have devoted to destruction.
Jeremiah 4:23-28 I looked on the earth, and behold, it was without form and void; and to the heavens, and they had no light. I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking, and all the hills moved to and fro. I looked, and behold, there was no man, and all the birds of the air had fled. I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a desert, and all its cities were laid in ruins before the LORD, before his fierce anger. For thus says the LORD, “The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end. “For this the earth shall mourn, and the heavens above be dark; for I have spoken; I have purposed; I have not relented, nor will I turn back.”
Joel 2:9-10 They leap upon the city, they run upon the walls, they climb up into the houses, they enter through the windows like a thief. The earth quakes before them; the heavens tremble. The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining.
Zephaniah 1:14-17 The great day of the LORD is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the LORD is bitter; the mighty man cries aloud there. A day of wrath is that day, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements. I will bring distress on mankind, so that they shall walk like the blind, because they have sinned against the LORD; their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung.
Ezekiel 32:7-9 When I blot you out, I will cover the heavens and make their stars dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give its light. All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over you, and put darkness on your land, declares the Lord GOD. “I will trouble the hearts of many peoples, when I bring your destruction among the nations, into the countries that you have not known.