This is the happy ending that every follower of Christ looks forward to: Jesus makes all things new. But “making all things new” doesn’t just mean the slate is wiped clean and we start fresh. “All things new” means restoration. It means that in the end, every trial is compensated, every wrong is corrected, and everything we’ve ever lost is returned to us. Every shattered dream will be realized. Every tear every Christ follower has ever shed in this weeping world won’t just be wiped away; it will be accounted for, weighed on the scales, and paid back in full. “The years the locusts have eaten will be restored” (Joel 2:25). Pastor and poet John Newton, writing about a dear friend’s long suffering and tragic death, said, “Jesus is rich enough, and eternity is long enough, for him to make abundant amends for whatever his infinite wisdom may see right to call us to, for promoting his glory in the end.”
The grand story of the Bible ends with words of anticipation:
He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 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. (Revelation 21:3-4)
Every tear wiped away, the scourge of death silenced forever, all pain erased permanently. This is the hope that sustains when the heart is heavy. So whether you’re fearing the sorrow that may come, or whether you’re grieving with no end in sight, here’s what you need to know: there will be a final tear. In this weeping world, one day, one tear that falls will be the last tear. One cancer diagnosis will be the last cancer diagnosis. One day, one divorce will be the last divorce. One child who dies will be the last child to die. One heartbreak will be the final heartbreak.
Andrew Peterson’s song, “After the Last Tear Falls,” captures the hope that is held out to every follower of Jesus:
After the last tear falls,
After the last secret’s told,
After the last bullet tears through flesh and bone
After the last child starves
And the last girl walks the boulevard
After the last year that’s just too hard
There is love
Love is coming, Christian, to gather up all your hurts and heartaches and make everything new and beautiful again. And until the dawn of joy, every tear brings us closer to that final tear. Every tear that you and I weep over our broken dreams moves us closer to the end of the story and the hand that will wipe them all away. The light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter every day, and will soon break forth with light and beauty that will scatter darkness and ugliness forever. “In the end,” J.R.R. Tolkien writes, “the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty forever beyond its reach.”
This is what resurrection means: the sadness and darkness passes, permanently. Death dies. Jesus wins. The empty grave overtakes all things. And in the end, Easter comes for you.