Isaiah 25:8 – He will swallow up death for ever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The Lord has spoken. (NIV)
You've probably heard this verse before. It's a great favourite at funerals, that sacred time when our loved ones are entrusted into God's everlasting care. It's a remarkable piece of Scripture, and over the many years that I have been a minister and the hundreds of funerals that I have led, those words still touch my heart and grant a ray of hope to all those who hear them.
God will swallow up death forever. We might die on earth, but it isn't the last part of our lives. Death is only a part of time; it has no power, no position, no purpose in the realms of eternity. God demands that death be extinguished forever. It has no place in His everlasting kingdom.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces. That's a beautiful picture: the greatest ruler in the whole universe stooping down like a loving mother or father to wipe away the tears from all faces. Tears of loss, tears of pain, tears of anger, and tears of bitterness — all are wiped away with the loving, caring, compassionate hand of God. That will be one of the most precious times in eternity, when God kneels before us to comfort, embrace, and love us.
He will remove the disgrace of His people from all the earth. All those things that wound us, all those disappointments, all those self-destructive and shameful secrets, all those hurtful words, bitter acts, and angry moments — all of them will be removed by the blood of Jesus and the merciful power of our gracious Father. And all these things will be done because the Lord has spoken. What He says, He does. All that He promises, He keeps. All that He voices, He validates.
Prayer: Lord God, Your words astound us at times and set our hearts leaping. Your grace amazes us, and Your devotion delights us. Your compassion comforts us, and Your love never leaves us. Hallelujah for such a healing! Hallelujah for evermore! In Jesus' name. Amen.