As reported by the British Sunday Post, more than a million people flooded the streets of Britain on Victory in Europe Day, on May 8, 1945. It was a day to celebrate the end of Europe’s most terrible war, and crowds gathered across the continent. There were huge crowds in Trafalgar Square and up the Mall to Buckingham Palace. Young Princess Elizabeth and her sister Margaret were allowed to go out incognito and wander among the crowds. To the Queen today, it’s still a vivid memory – she has never seen another time like it, all these years later. For all mankind, it is still a date to remember, even if we don’t know anyone who was involved, and pray that we never see its like again.
Extraordinary celebrations are universally accompanied by shouts. From major sporting events to world-changing victories, the natural response of the human spirit is to express our joy in an exhilarating shout. This basic human trait comes from our creator. It’s one of the things that reflect our origin as beings who are created in God’s image. God himself shouts in joy.
The greatest celebration in history is still to come, and it will be accompanied by shouting such as the world has never heard – the Lord Himself will join the shouting on that day!
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
With a shout - The word used here in the original Greek (κέλευσμα keleusma), does not occur anywhere else in the New Testament. It means a “cry’ of excitement; like the shout of soldiers rushing to battle, of a multitude of people in a single voice, like a charging army.
This shout will be like none other ever heard. It will ring with the exhilarating cry of unnumbered millions of saints and angels in unison, and also of the Lord Himself. On that day Jesus’ own shout will be the call that wakes the Saints who have died. No other voice could command them to return to life.
Jesus spoke of this day when he told his disciples: the hour is coming, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice (John 5:28), speaking of the voice of the ‘Son of Man.’ He demonstrated this voice when he called Lazarus from the grave with a loud voice: Lazarus, come forth (John 11:43). It’s been correctly said that if Jesus had not called Lazarus by name then everyone in the graveyard would have risen!
His shout will be the cry of final triumph for His church. The return of the bridegroom to claim His waiting bride. It will be the earnest cry of His heart in exuberant joy, and it will shake the earth.
That’s a shout worth waiting for. It's closer than ever.
Behold, I tell you a mystery: We all shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?
1 Corinthians 15:51-55