(Jesus said) "I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. ...." John 11:25-26a
Let's talk about tears. Do you cry? Are you a weeper? Most of us are. Oh, we manly men may not want to admit it, but most of us have been known to shed a tear or two.
Do you need proof?
If so, rent the Disney film Old Yeller. Years ago our family saw the movie. We loved the film, until the last ten minutes. For those of you who don't remember, the boy is attacked by wild animals, pigs, I think it was, and the dog saved him. Sadly, because of his fight with the pigs, the dog came down with rabies, and the boy had to shoot his pet. I didn't look around at my wife or the children, but I could hear some sobbing going on. Me, I was a bit misty.
If Old Yeller doesn't do it for you, then watch Bambi's mother get shot or see Dumbo separated from his mom.
Most of us cry. Most of us weep. In this world where catastrophe seems to be a constant, where tragedy and terror, sin, sadness and sorrow are almost customary and commonplace, the sorrowful shedding of tears is familiar and frequent. Almost everybody weeps over a personal sadness. Think back upon the last time you cried.
Even Jesus shed tears. Centuries before His Bethlehem birth, the Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, had, by the Holy Spirit's direction, in detail, described the Savior. He said Jesus would be "despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering." (See Isaiah 53:3.)
Look at Jesus and you will not see a general who sits far removed in a command center while His troops march off to engage the enemy in battle. He is not a chairman in a walnut-paneled boardroom who dictates commands to His company while the men on the assembly line sweat to take those commands to completion.
No, Jesus became one of us so He might -- in our place -- fulfill the laws we disobey. He became true Man so that the damnable price that our sins demanded might be paid in full. Because of His sacrifice and resurrection victory, He is able to promise that He is the Resurrection and the Life and those who live and believe in Him will never die.
The comfort those words have given to mourners over the centuries cannot be calculated.
Jesus' Words mean that when a soldier's body is brought home from a war, taps will not be the final note to be heard. Judgment Day will begin with another trumpet call. Because of Jesus' Words, believing parents who have stood helplessly beside the freshly turned earth of a child's grave are given the resurrection assurance that while death has ripped their little one from them, it could not do the same to Jesus.
Christ's nail-pierced hands are stronger than death and, because this is so, in heaven every tear will be replaced by laughter and joy in Jesus.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord and Savior, in this world we cannot escape tears. Accept our thankful hearts which know that the time is coming that, because of Jesus, those tears will be wiped away. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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