John 11:25-26 - [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. Do you believe this?"
Rare is the life that at some time isn't affected by great distress in this world. On planet earth, where tragedy seems to be a constant, where sin, misery, and grief are evident all around us, the shedding of tears is all too familiar in our lives. Most of us cry. Most of us weep. Almost everyone shed tears over some personal sadness. Think back to the last time you cried.
Even Jesus shed tears in this world. Centuries before His Bethlehem birth, the Old Testament prophet Isaiah had, by the Holy Spirit's inspiration, described the Savior in sobering detail. He said our Lord Jesus would be "despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief ... He was oppressed, and He was afflicted ... stricken for the transgression of My people" (see Isaiah 53). How true this proved to be!
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 press on to fulfill those orders. No, Jesus was in the trenches with us, sweating with us, giving us His life so we might truly live.
Jesus became one of us so He might—in our place—fulfill the Law we completely disobeyed. He became true Man so that the ultimate price our sins demanded might be paid in full. Because of His sacrifice and resurrection victory, 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 people over the centuries cannot be measured.
Jesus' words mean that death does not hold the final claim on our lives. As Christians, we know that those who mourn now will find their grief overcome by joy when this life is over. They will know the victory won for them by Jesus' life, death, and resurrection is perfect and everlasting. 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.
WE PRAY: Heavenly Father, please accept our thankful hearts which know that the time is coming that, because of Jesus, all of our tears will be wiped away. In His Name we pray. Amen.
From "Tears of Laughter," a devotion from Rev. Dr. Kenneth Klaus, Speaker Emeritus for The Lutheran Hour
1. Does knowing that Jesus Himself cried impact the way you see Him?
2. Jesus in the trenches with us—what does that say about Him and how God loves us?
3. Losing someone to death is a dreadful experience. How has your Christian faith sustained you during times like this?
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