the end of the beginning + the beginning of the end
Text: John 19:28-42, Revelation 21:1-4
John, the beloved, stood and watched His Savior and friend bow His head.
He saw the simple autopsy of Jesus and watched as Joseph of Arimathea carried away the Son of Man to be buried. He witnessed all of it and I can’t help but wonder if it felt like the end of a horribly sad story. A huge part of me wants John to have written a sidebar right here, to see his humanness. I wouldn’t mind a “And guys – I was SAD. It did NOT look good” right around John 19:43. John must’ve known tears, right? He knew and saw death. And while I’m sure the events that would occur three days later brought a massive spring to his step, he’d know pain and hurt again in his life.
We catch up with John years and years later, now an old man, as he’s exiled on the island of Patmos. While we might be tempted to feel bad for him – let’s peek in on the picture he’s experiencing in Revelation 21. John the Beloved got to see things he could barely describe and things we can barely dare to interpret. A new heaven, a new earth, a resurrected and returning King wiping away all the tears.
Do you know pain? Do you know someone who knows pain?
Does it feel like the end or the middle or the beginning of just another sad story?
Don’t for a second let the enemy of your heart leave you in John 19.
Ladies, He rose from the dead – compelled by love and grace and power - instilled and enlisted by His Father, to defeat sin and death and tears and pain. For the glory of God and for our restoration. And like John saw before he took his last earthly breath, He’s coming back. All the old sad stories are going to be weaved like beautiful vintage threads into a tapestry of grace and glory and Good News.
Where is your hope today? Is it in a life without tears that you couldn’t muster up if you tried or are you simply hoping for another story to begin that isn’t quite as sad as this one?
Let’s hope in a fresh start. A beautiful, true, eternal story. One that never began and never ends, but climaxed on a sad Friday over two thousand years ago and will see us through to this beautiful new place – where our tears are no more.