“He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth.” (Isaiah 25:8)
“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.” (Revelation 7:17)
“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.” (Revelation 21:4)
In the above passages we are told that God will wipe away all tears from the eyes of His people after the Tribulation and entering the Millennium. He refers to Israel in Isaiah 25:8, then the Tribulation martyrs in Revelation 7:17 and finally all those who are His in Revelation 21:4.
We see in Revelation 21:4 that once He has done so, there will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain, for all the old things will be gone and no more.
My guess is that many of us have wondered why there would be tears in the first place, so allow me to provide my opinion.
Isaiah 25:8 – Israel
No nation of people, individually and collectively, has come anywhere near the suffering Israel has endured for so many long years. It is true that their trials and tribulations have arisen primarily because of their disobedience and rejection of their Messiah.
Revelation 7:17 – Tribulation Martyrs
The martyrs are those who were left behind at the Rapture but came to Christ and were saved during the Tribulation. Their suffering will be for a very short period, but it will be no less horrible than anyone could imagine.
Revelation 21:4 – All God’s People
From Adam and Eve to the last saint to enter into Heaven’s family at the end of the Tribulation by faith in the Son of God, we have all suffered from the effects of sin that entered the world.
Why would there be tears? I think there is more than one reason, but the first that comes to mind, obviously, is the joy that, “the old order of things have passed away.”
Many of us have lost Christian family members and friends to physical death; husbands, wives, children, parents, sisters, brothers, et al. Even though our hearts have been broken because of our loss, Heaven has been their gain. There is no doubt that not one of them would want to return to this fallen world if they could.
When we are all united with our Savior and Lord and “the old order of things have passed away,” I believe the tears will come from joy, relief, gratitude, and even regret (I’ll come back to this one).
What are two things that immediately come to mind when we have extreme joy? The first two things that come to my mind are laughter and tears. If we can experience something so thrilling on earth that it brings laughter and tears, would not the joy of being with Jesus Christ supersede anything else we could imagine? The joy of knowing that all bad things have passed away and we will live as a family with Almighty God for eternity makes me smile as I type these thoughts. Surely, one reason for our tears will be from the overwhelming joy we will have on that day.
Could “relief” be another reason? I know no one who enjoys going to the dentist. Isn’t it a relief to be walking out the door as opposed to walking in the door at the dentist office?
Some have been diagnosed with cancer, gone through the treatments and then received a clean bill of health. Think about the relief that is felt in hearing, “You’re cancer free.” My wife and I know this kind of relief, and I can assure you, it is tearfully overwhelming.
What does it mean to be grateful? It means we are thankful or appreciative. When we are with Jesus on that day every one of us will certainly be thankful for His love for us, even more so than we are now.
We will see the scars in His hands which are the visible trademarks of His sacrifice to redeem us from Satan’s slave market.
Maybe we will remember how close we came to not calling on Him to save us. Maybe we will think of all the sin in our lives that could have annulled our salvation, if it weren’t for the guarantee of His Holy Spirit that sealed us. Perhaps we will be reminded of our rebellion, but will then realize His firm grip upon us kept us in His hands.
I believe our gratitude will bubble over into tears of appreciation for all He has done and all He has provided; especially knowing we don’t deserve it.
Could there be tears of regret that we didn’t serve Him on earth as we should have? Could tears of regret cloud our eyes, knowing we could have spoken out more for Him and stood a little taller? Will God wipe away tears that come from our eyes because we know many are not with us, and we never witnessed to them about Jesus?
Whatever the reason or reasons may be for our tears, can’t you feel the tenderness and love that comes from God as He wipes away those tears?
Whatever picture you have in your mind of our Father in Heaven, our Savior and Lord, and our Comforter, has it changed any in seeing His tenderness as He wipes away your tears and my tears?
The touch of someone who loves us brings such comfort to our hearts. Perhaps your mother did that for you as a child. Think of the touch of God as He wipes away each tear and comforts us with His love.
God is not a mean tyrant in Heaven, just waiting for you and me to “mess up.” He loves us beyond anything we can understand. I believe our tears will fall when we experience His love on that day, face to face.
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html