Wipe Tears Away

He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken. Isaiah 25:8

Why do we cry?

We can have tears of joy. When my sons were born, I freely admit that I cried tears of joy.

When I baptized my sons, again I cried.

When I administered the Rite of Confirmation for each of my sons, you guessed it, I cried.

One of the reasons we cry is for joy.

weeping-1-1But another reason we cry is sadness. This is, by far, the more common reason for tears.

There are many things that cause sadness and, thus, tears.

Ultimately, the one thing that causes all sad tears is death.

And death is the result of sin.

When Adam and Eve chose to follow their own heart instead of God’s, sin entered into the creation.

That sin infected us all. It brought death to God’s creation.

And with death comes tears.

As a pastor, I have faced all kinds of tears.

I’ve had young people in my office, eyes full of tears, because they didn’t want to take confirmation classes anymore. This, too, is a result of sin and death. In confirmation classes we face the death of what we would like to do when we choose – by the power of the Holy Spirit working through Word and Sacrament – to follow God’s will for our lives.

But this is hard. It is especially hard for a young person to choose not to follow his or her own desires and to, instead, follow God’s will for us.

I’ve had older people in my office, eyes full of tears, because of something I didn’t do. They felt that I should have done something, or done something differently. This, too, is a result of sin and death. Many times those tears come from their perception that I have done something or not done something that they felt I should or should not do. Sometimes that is correct, but many times it is because what I did or did not do was a result of my following God’s way and not their way.

And, of course, I’ve had people of all ages in my office, eyes full of tears, because someone they love has died. Death touches us all in one way or another. And death brings tears.

What can we do about this?

We can trust God when he says that he has destroyed the power of death. In Isaiah 25:8, God says that he “will swallow up death forever” and “wipe away tears from all faces.

This God has done when Jesus Christ died on the cross. Jesus’ death destroyed death (see Hebrews 2:14-15).

As Martin Luther said, “Christ destroys death. As a plague consumes the body little by little, so Christ is the pestilence of our death and of our old Adam” (quoted in the notes on Isaiah 25:8 in The Lutheran Study Bible © 2009 Concordia Publishing House).

We’ll still have tears. Tears of joy – and that will probably never go way (nor should they). And tears of sadness. But tears of sadness are temporary. They will come to an end.

That’s the promise of God, for the LORD has spoken!

©2017 True Men Ministries

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