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 21:4 ESV
The last time my Father’s eyes and mine met was on the night on February 5, 1993.
If I had known that would be the last time I saw him alive, I would have stayed with him longer, but that was not the case that night. I can still vividly remember those early morning hours.
The date, February 7, 1993, was etched in my memory. I looked at the shell of a man who was my earthly Father, but this time his eyes didn’t look back. The pain I felt was too much to bear, and I started to weep, being deeply grieved. My soul craved the comfort that only comes from a father. My dad, who knew how to comfort me in times of trouble, was departed, and for the first time in my life, I felt alone.
One of the hardest events we go through in life is the death of a loved one. The emotions we feel is hard to bear. However, there is One who can relate to our sorrows. His name is Jesus, the Son of God. We serve a God who not only understands our sorrows, but He relates to them as well.
In John chapter eleven, we read about Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, who lived in Bethany and were close friends of Jesus. Their brother Lazarus had fallen ill and passed away. He was already entombed when Jesus arrived on the scene. When Jesus saw Mary weeping, He was deeply moved. He asked where Lazarus was, and they showed Him. As he looked upon the tomb, He wept.
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept.~John 11:33-35 ESV
We have the assurance that even in death, God is in control. John 11: 38-44 illustrates this perfectly. As Lazarus stepped out of death’s clutches and back to life, Jesus demonstrated His power over life and death. With one command from Jesus, Lazarus arose.
When he had said these things, he [Jesus] cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.~John 11:43 KJV
Just as Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave that day, He will one day call our loved ones up from their graves. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13 -18, we read about how, as believers, we don’t need to grieve the same way as others who have no hope. Our hope is secure in Jesus, who conquered hell, death, and the grave. We have an eternal home.
And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are 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. Therefore encourage one another with these words.~1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 ESV
Take a few minutes to recall the tears and loneliness that you felt as your loved ones and friends passed away. The pain and sorrow that you experienced as you weep through those nights. Do you recall the loneliness and despair?
Receive encouragement through God’s Holy Words. Psalms 30:5b says, “weeping may terry for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” The tears that streamed down your cheeks may last for the night but keep the faith because God promises that our joy will come in the morning, and then–we will see Jesus face-to-face. Put your trust in the One who is preparing for you an eternal home.
Have you invited Jesus Christ to be your personal Savior? Let today be the day.
Lord, we thank You that the grave is not the end of life but it is merely a gateway that leads our loved ones, friends, and ourselves into eternity. It is there that You will wipe away our tears, and there will be no more suffering or pain. Until that day, we put our hope and trust in You, knowing You will guide us to the other side.
Copyright 2021: Jesus Wept: Ed Chappelle: All Rights Reserved