Every Tear, One Lamb

Revelation 21:4
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

This is one of the verses for tonight’s Good Friday services at two of our locations. (I’m giving you here a few notes from my sermon tonight.) I’ve paired Revelation 21:4 with many related verses throughout Scripture to focus on the connection between Jesus’ role as God’s sacrificial lamb and God’s promise to wipe away our every tear in heaven.

First, some thoughts about tears and crying…

  • Crying is often uncontrollable, which is one of the main reasons it is often undesirable.
  • It can be about any set of strong emotions, good or bad.
  • The crying and tears we’re most concerned with have to do with the venting of our pain, hurt, sorrow.
  • Christian faith would identify the root of our sorrow to be sin.
  • The promise that Jesus will wipe away our tears in Heaven is one of the most memorable in Scripture, but where does it come from and how does it work? What does it mean?

Looking at Revelation 21:4’s context a bit is helpful…

Revelation 21:1-4

The New Heaven and the New Earth

            [1] Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. [2] And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. [3] And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. [4] He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

The words translated “every tear” appear in another place in Revelation…

Revelation 7:9-17

A Great Multitude from Every Nation

            [9] After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, [10] and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” [11] And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, [12] saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

            [13] Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” [14] I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

            [15] “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.

            [16] They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat.

            [17] For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

This last verse shows us a clear connection between The Lamb and our tears. The Lamb is a name for Jesus associated with today, Good Friday. Nearly every mention of a lamb in the Bible is tied to that lamb’s death. Nearly every lamb in the Bible is a “dead-lamb-walking.” Revelation may use the word Lamb more than any other to refer to Jesus Christ. The only way He can be Lord, Savior, Redeemer, Deliverer, Healer, etc. is to first and foremost be The Lamb, the Dead Lamb, The Sacrificed Lamb, The Lamb Who Dies because of and for someone else. If you have tears in your life or in your heart, you need the Lamb.

If you want any good in your life and soul, it has to start with Good Friday. The star of the show on Good Friday is none other than the Lamb. Throughout the entire Bible, people anywhere and everywhere have been directed to one place when they needed a breakthrough from and for God… the Lamb.

In a precursor to what this day is about, Abraham brought his son Isaac up a mountain to be sacrificed, he believed at God’s behest. Isaac asks humanity’s question in Genesis 22:6-8.

Genesis 22:6-8

            [6] And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. [7] And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” [8] Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.

And God did provide a lamb. He did that time, and it stands for how it did it for all time through His Son. Unlike Abraham, who’s son was spared, God the Father had to watch the knife of death plunge into His One and Only Son.

In Isaiah 53:7, centuries before Good Friday happened, the prophet Isaiah wrote of Jesus…

Isaiah 53:7

            He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

In the book of Acts, Luke references this prophecy as it was read by Philip to the Ethiopian, who had asked for Christian faith and the salvation of Jesus to be explained to him…

Acts 8:32

            Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this: “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth.

Christian hope starts only with a condemned lamb. Christian comfort comes only from the suffering of this lamb. He shed His blood to wipe away our sins and our tears.

In the Gospel of John, no surprise since John also wrote Revelation, Jesus was identified first as The Lamb by another John, John the Baptist…

John 1:29-36

Behold, the Lamb of God

            [29] The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! [30] This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ [31] I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” [32] And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. [33] I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ [34] And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

Jesus Calls the First Disciples

            [35] The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, [36] and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”

The connection with Passover and how we are to live our lives as Christians is brought out by Paul in 1 Corinthians 5:7.

1 Corinthians 5:7

            Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

And our call to holiness as well as our assurance of ransom and purification are also tied to only the Lamb by Peter in 1 Peter 1:19.

1 Peter 1:17-19

            [17] And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, [18] knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, [19] but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.

And if we go back to Revelation and skip to the end of the story, we see that Heaven is a place where the worship of every single saved person will be eternally directed to The Lamb. All our hopes are pinned on this Lamb. All our prayers are answered by this Lamb. All our comfort derives from this Lamb. All our healing depends on this Lamb. And how does this Lamb do all this for us? What did He do to be able to provide all this for us? He died.

Revelation 5:1-14

The Scroll and the Lamb

            [1] Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. [2] And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” [3] And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, [4] and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. [5] And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

            [6] And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. [7] And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. [8] And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. [9] And they sang a new song, saying,

            “Worthy are you to take the scroll

                        and to open its seals,

            for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God

                        from every tribe and language and people and nation,

            [10] and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,

                        and they shall reign on the earth.”

[11] Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, [12] saying with a loud voice,

            “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,

            to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might

            and honor and glory and blessing!”

[13] And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,

            “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb

            be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!  

[14] And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

If you are going to weep and shed tears, and those tears are the tears of pain, anguish, despair…

… then the One offering this greatest of all comfort has to possess the greatest of all ability to provide it.

The testimony of Scripture is that this Lamb is Jesus Christ. It is His death as the Lamb sacrificed in our place that we remember and rely on today. Because only He died for us and for our sins…

Revelation 21:4

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

The beginning of the next chapter in Revelation, the last chapter in the Bible, continues with this…

Revelation 22:1-5

The River of Life

            [1] Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb [2] through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. [3] No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. [4] They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. [5] And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

Do you have sins you need to be forgiven tonight?

Do you need your hope restored?

Do you have tears you need to have wiped away?

Do you need healing of any kind, of every kind?

Then fix your eyes on The Lamb.

Jesus the Lamb became sin for us on the cross per 2 Corinithians 5:20-21.

2 Corinthians 5:20-21

            [20] Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. [21] For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

He suffered beyond measure to become every one of our sins on the Cross, and, therefore, every one of our tears. Through Jesus alone, God wipes away both. Amen.

3 Replies to “Every Tear, One Lamb”

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