Millions of Christians know what the Bible says about the return of Jesus.
“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.” (Mark 13:26)
And now, some people think they may be seeing a preview of the majestic return of God to Earth.
A photograph of sunlight bursting through the clouds in skies over Italy has many people saying it resembles Jesus being crucified.
The photo was originally snapped in March by Alfredo Lo Brutto of Agropoli, Italy, near Pompeii in the southern section of the country, and it has since become a worldwide sensation.
“Here’s the photo gone viral on social media: The Christ of Light in the Sea of Agropoli,” Lo Brutto wrote on his Facebook page.
“I was enchanted by the view. I don’t often short pictures on social media, but when I took this one, I instantly felt like I wanted other people to see, because it was so beautiful.”
Margi Stryker Tettemer of Doylestown, Pennsylvania declared: “This is an amazing photo! Thank you for sharing!”
Soteria Allen of San Angelo, Texas, noted: “A good reminder for us that Jesus is the LIGHT of the world! Thank You, Jesus! And thank you Alfredo Lo Brutto.”
But not everyone is jumping on the Jesus train.
Kiran James of Melbourne, Australia, responded to Lo Brutto by posting a photo his own of a sunburst through clouds he snapped Down Under.
“This pic was taken by me in Australia and I think I saw Jesus too,” James said sarcastically, with an emoji sticking out its tongue. “It is just the way clouds form during sunrise or sunset and sometimes you will be lucky enough to see the sun rays not Jesus.”
This is not the first time people have claimed to see Jesus or angels in the physical heavens.
In 2013, a mysterious image from Google Street View showed what some people think is Jesus and Mary sauntering through the clouds above a highway in Switzerland.
The pair appears to be floating over a highway to heaven, better known as the A5 highway near Walensee, Switzerland.
Facebook and Twitter users went gaga over the image, sharing it hundreds of thousands of times across the social networks.
But not everyone thought it’s divine in nature, suggesting possibilities from smashed bugs to a Google software glitch to Photoshop fakery.
“As much as a Christian I am, I will never believe anyone has or will be greeted by any vision of Jesus or God or whoever. It’s probably a smudge on the lens. Please don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s anything more,” wrote one commenter.
But another was not so instantly dismissive: “Who is to say yay or nay? If it is: Amen. Fantastic.”
In January 2016, as WND reported, spectacular images of the sun were caught on camera from New York to Hawaii, with some saying they see angels, doves and crosses.
“The sunrise was so beautiful on my way to work that I stopped on the side of the road and snapped a photo. And I got … this,” said seasoned photographer Amy Langley from the town of Koloa on the island of Kauai.
“Looks like an angel,” said one of Langley’s friends on Facebook. Others suggested: “Your guardian angel” as well as “an angel or a dove.”
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Langley told WND she photographed the sunrise at 7:15 a.m. with her Samsung 5 phone while standing outside of her car, not looking through the windshield.
“The shape is only in the photo,” said Langley, a former photojournalist for a network television affiliate in Florida. “It looked like a normal giant pink sun [when taking the picture]!”
“I was mostly worried it looked like a giant breaking wave,” she added, believing it was a “total flare in the camera lens. It was incredibly bright, mixed with southern winds that push ‘vog,’ volcanic haze from a big island volcano across Hawaii.”
The same morning of Jan. 13 that Langley took her photo in Hawaii, Mechaele Loraff pulled her vehicle over in Buchanan, Michigan, to take a photo of the sunrise.
Once she looked at the photo, she noticed an obvious shape of a cross.
“I did not see it till after I took the picture,” Loraff told WND. “I was focused on the sunrise and the beam of light going straight up! The cloud reflecting in the shape of a cross was a bonus!”
Loraff’s photo of the sunrise cross went viral after she shared it with a meteorologist at a local TV station.
“I don’t really know what to say other than I am in shock and overwhelmed that my picture has gone all over the U.S. the past couple days,” she told WND. “I have never seen a light pillar before and the cloud reflecting the light from it and making it look like a cross just made it even more beautiful to me!”
Meanwhile, that same week on Jan. 8, another woman, Erika Redner Winn of Pine Valley, New York, took a photo of a different solar cross on the horizon at sunset.
“I appreciate all of the love that this photo is getting,” Winn said. “The sunset, painted by my Jesus, gave me such peace and hope. … I pray that peace will touch everyone who feels that way about such a beautiful photo of such an amazing sky.”
Interestingly, the Bible uses morning celestial terms to refer to divine beings such as angels and God Himself.
The fallen angel Lucifer is mentioned in the Old Testament, which states: “How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn!” (Isaiah 14:12 New International Version)
And Jesus declared in the final book of Scripture: “I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” (Revelation 22:16 King James Version)
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