Considering Jesus Challenge
Wiping Away Our Tears
Day 25, January 25, 2013, Friday
“And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4
Jesus knows sorrow. He knows anguish, sadness, and grief. (Isaiah 53:3) Because Jesus walked this earth as a man, he is well acquainted with the pain that we experience and has great compassion for our distress.
Today’s challenge verse says that Jesus will wipe away every tear from our eyes. He won’t just hand us the Kleenex box; he will wipe the tears away himself. When God draws near to wipe the very tears from our faces, he is providing the ultimate demonstration of compassion. His tender expression of care reflects his own willingness to stand in the midst of our pain with us and be a resource for our needs.
Jesus had the capacity to express deep emotion while he walked the earth. He also experienced grief first-hand – and not just the suffering of his crucifixion. He faced and walked through the same kind of grief as do we.
Matthew 14:13 says when Jesus heard that his cousin, John the Baptist, had been beheaded, he withdrew from the people around him so he could be alone. Jesus wanted to grieve. He needed to grieve. John’s death had touched him, so he got into a boat to be alone. The people, however, followed Jesus from the shore and congregated where he disembarked.
Despite his own sadness, Jesus responded to their needs with compassion. He healed those who needed healing, and fed those who needed food. He did this while sidelining his own need to grieve.
I think verse 23 of Matthew 14 suddenly jumped out to me this morning because it has always been disconnected from the rest of the chapter. It says, “After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.” This verse has gotten lost because it’s often presented as the preamble to the account of Jesus walking on the water.
It’s not a preamble; it’s a conclusion.
The reason Jesus was alone on that mountain was because he was grieving, not because he needed an excuse to freak out his disciples by walking to them on the water in the middle of the night. Jesus was honoring John and comforting his own heart by withdrawing from those around him to go before his Father in prayer. He was alone because he needed to be alone.
John 11:35 provides another glimpse into the compassionate heart of Jesus when it says that he wept at the tomb of Lazarus. His spirit was troubled and he was deeply moved by the people who had gathered to mourn the death of their friend. Jesus stood in the midst of the chaos, sorrow, and unbelief, and he cried.
Jesus’ heart was troubled just before he arrived in Jerusalem for his last week on earth (John 12:27). He was troubled in the Upper Room when he predicted that Judas would betray him (John 13:21), and again in the Garden of Gethsemane when he sweat drops of blood.
Hebrews 5:7 says, “In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.” Jesus knew sadness, sorrow, and grief. He also knew what it was to be forsaken.
Yes, Jesus understood the agonizing soul-searing pain of being human. Because of that, he is the one ideally suited to wipe away our tears. When he does, he not only validates our agony, he also positions himself to be the solution for our pain.
Do you need comfort for your pain today? Ask Jesus to be with you in the midst of your chaos and sorrow. He will. His compassion will sync with your suffering and he will walk you through your pain to his place of peace.
Considering Jesus Challenge Passage for Tomorrow, January 26, 2013:
Okay, so day 2 of not getting all the way through the entire passage. Tomorrow we’ll pick up where we left off. If I still don’t finish tomorrow, I’ll take another day – this section of scripture is loaded with insights about Jesus!
“And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And He said, ‘Write for these words are faithful and true.’” Revelation 21:5
“Then He said to me, ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the springs of water of life without cost.’” Revelation 21:6
“‘He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.’” Revelation 21:7
© Copyright, 2013 by Donna Tallman.