And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)
I consider tears as the bleeding of the soul. Just as when we are hurt physically we bleed, so too when we experience trauma of the soul the result will be tears. Some bleeding is internal and the tears cannot be seen or easily wiped away. Much of life is about pain control and finding ways to slow the bleeding and ease the discomforts we are in whether external or internal. There are prescriptions to dull our pain and tissues for the tears on our cheeks but is there any cure to take away all this sorrow and grief in life? No, sorrow and grief are here to stay for a while, but thankfully there is a cure that is provided for us by grace through faith.
Many times we ask ourselves the question, “Does God see or feel our pain?” When God became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ he was born with eyes, but his eyes seen much differently than any other man ever born. The bible tells us that the eyes of Jesus were full of compassion; feeding the multitudes, healing the sick, preaching the truth and raising the dead are all evidences that he sees the pain of mankind. Jesus is not only the God who sees, but he is the God who has power to do something about the sorrows of life. Jesus was able to wipe away the tears of the bereaved in his day, but what about us? Can he do it for you and me?
God promised a cure for the grief of mankind (Genesis 3:15) through the seed of a woman. God again promised through the prophet Isaiah about a coming Messiah 700 years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem. “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold a virgin will conceive and bear a son, and call his name Immanuel” ( Isaiah 7:14 meaning God with us) The Lord became a man, “And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14 ESV) God does care about our troubles, he does care about our grief and has went to the greatest lengths to demonstrate it and also to eliminate it.
Jesus our compassionate God came to wipe all tears away, but first he had to experience the tears that we shed. He grieved and sobbed with his friends and his enemies over the death of his beloved friend Lazarus. He knew that in just a few moments he would wipe their tears away by calling his friend out of the tomb yet he still sorrowed and grieved with them. (John 11) On the surface this seems odd but the understanding of his tears is revealed to us in the prophecy of Isaiah 53. Jesus saw their grief and his compassion for them drove his thinking to how he would take all of our sorrows away forever. It would come at the highest price and it could only be accomplished through his own death.
“He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:3) The world hates Jesus without reason yet despite this, “Surely he has borne our grief’s and carried our sorrows.” (53:4) What creates the grief and sorrow that Jesus is determined to die for? It is the power of sin, Isaiah continues, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, upon him was the chastisement that brought our peace, and by his stripes we are healed.” (53:5) A perfect sacrifice is the only thing that could satisfy a perfectly holy God. Jesus did just that and by his grace we can receive forgiveness of sins through his blood which brings to us peace with God.
Lazarus died because he was a sinner, the grief and pain of all who were there that day was a result of sin, because the payment for sin is always death. We are powerless to do anything about sin and death but thankfully God is not. He killed death by death and gives us hope through his resurrection from the dead. Jesus is the resurrection and the life, he walked out of his own tomb because death could not hold him. It was foretold, it came to pass and by faith in his name we can have the same thing. God does care!
Death is no victor, death has lost its sting because Jesus’ beat death at its own game. He was sinless and could not die because sin had no power over him like it does over us. Yet his love for us compelled him to give his life a ransom for many, taking our sins and nailing them to his cross thereby paying the debt we owe to God. Paul says, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might be made the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV) This is the great exchange of our sins for his righteousness to satisfy the justice of a loving God. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Since therefore we have been justified by his blood, much more we shall be saved by him from the wrath of God. (Romans 5:8-9 ESV)
God cares and God sees all the external and internal tears of our lives. His care is evident in the extremes he endured to take away our pain on his cross. He suffered and has borne our sorrows and grief’s. Should we expect as sinners to not suffer if the sinless Son of God suffered willingly on our behalf? Jesus understands, sees, and cares for us because he became one of us, so that he might become a merciful High Priest for us. He is the only priest we need, “Because he continues forever, he has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore he is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:24-25) Your pain and your tears are only for a night, but joy comes in the morning friend. Remember that he has carried your sorrow and grief for you. Now as you wait for him, cast your cares on him, for he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
Trust him, he really loves us and has went to the greatest lengths to empty our tissue box. For a short time we will need tissues in this life, but someday the box will empty and there will be no more mourning, crying or pain but joy unspeakable and full of glory.