Sunday, June 19, 2011

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

Revelation 21:3-4 Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (NIV Bible)

A parallel verse is Revelation 7:17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

These verses are often thought of as not being fulfilled because there is still crying, death and sorrow on the earth. At first glance, this seems to be what the verse is saying. We all want God to wipe away our tears. We all wish for no more death or sorrow and pain.

But, when we take a closer look at these verses and compare them to other passages of scriptures in their historical context, it becomes clear that John indented for us to see a much deeper meaning.

From the book of Genesis to Revelation its all about man's existing before God. Those who lived under the Old Covenant were separated from God because of sin, death. In Isaiah 59:2 we read, But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. The Bible further indicates to us that "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).

Examine Paul's reference to dying. I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, (sin revived and I died). (Romans 7:9) Where there is sin, there is death, and where there is death man was separated from God. There is a world of difference between the way people today views death, and the way the inspired writers' view it.

The inspired writer of Hebrews tells us that men were subject to slavery all their lives because of the fear of death. It further informs us that the one who had the power of death is the devil. Hebrews 2:14-15 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death, that is, the devil and free those who all their lives were held in slavery (by their fear of death)

Why is death so dreaded that it enslaves men all their lives? It is a dreaded enemy to those who have been separated from God by their sin. In the Garden of Eden, God promised Adam and Eve that the devil would be defeated, and that the dreaded events of their sin in the Garden could be reversed, through a solution which God Himself would provide. He promised a Savior, who would be born of the woman, who would destroy the devil (Genesis 3:15).

As time passed, God continued to reveal His purposes and promises to men through the Scriptures, more and more details concerning the promised. The Savior would be the offspring of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3), Isaac, and Jacob. He would come from the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:8-12). He would be a "king," an heir to the throne of King David (2 Samuel 7:12-16). He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), and would be both divine and human, the Son of God and the Son of man (see Isaiah 9:6; 11:1-5; 52:13--53:12). God, even indicated that the place of the Savior's birth would be Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).

It was Jesus Christ who brought the solution to sin and death. He suffered the wrath of God, the punishment which our sins deserved and demanded. By his death he destroyed him who holds the power of death, that is, the devil and free those who all their lives were held in slavery (by their fear of death)

That is what the writer to the Hebrews was saying when he wrote these words: The "He" of verse 14 is Jesus Christ. He took on flesh and blood. The Son of God took on humanity, adding humanity to His deity. He, on the cross of Calvary, "partook of death" in our place that he might destroy him who holds the power of death that is, the devil.

There is no longer any fear of death, for He paid the penalty for our sins. He also rose from the dead, assuring us of eternal life after death, life in the presence of God. The works of the devil have been destroyed and death no longer has a grip on humanity, one which makes slaves of the fear of death.

What John is really saying to us God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying? This too is a promised in the Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming Savior. He would swallow up death forever and wipe away the tears from all faces of his people.

This wonderful promise is in both the New and Old Testament. In Isaiah 25:8 we read, He will swallow up death forever. (The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces); he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. This idea is not an original idea of John.

This is proof that the description in Revelation 21:3-4 belongs not to any time on earth, but eternity. Neither death, shall sorrow, or crying, or pain, will be any more: for the former things are going away. Like a parent encouraging a child, God is telling us that in the end all will be well with no tears, no pain, no mourning.

The Sovereign LORD will swallow up death forever. (Isaiah 25:8) This too is not an original idea of Paul’s. 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 "Death is swallowed up in victory.""O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Under the former old covenant there was death, and sorrow, crying and pain; all which occasioned many tears because of separation, from God, but now pain, sorrow and tears have all fled away, and the saints have everlasting life and joy. What a way to finish the last book of God’s love story to the man