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Summary: A sermon designed to show how much Jesus identifies with our suffering.

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NO MORE TEARS

Revelation 21:4/ John 11:17-34

Introduction: Remember when you were child and you had to have your hair washed? When I was little, I hated to get my hair washed. I knew that the soap would burn my eyes and that it would be an unpleasant and even painful experience. I hated to have my hair washed. But I stoically accepted it just like we adults accept death and taxes. And then my mother discovered something called "No More Tears" shampoo. As you know, "No More Tears" is a much gentler shampoo with less irritating ingredients. The shampoo’s specifically designed with babies in mind. You know, tears are an interesting phenomenon. Tears are a release mechanism designed to provide you with an emotional release. Scientific studies indicate that crying is actually good for you. It apparently releases bio-chemicals that can be harmful and also releases a natural soporific that acts as a tranquilizer. That’s why you often find you’re very tired after crying. Crying actually relaxes you. While crying itself may be beneficial for us, the circumstances and events that trigger this response are not. That’s why tears usually symbolize tragedy and suffering as well they should. We usually consider tears something to be avoided. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we lived in a world where crying, at least crying because of tragedy was no longer necessary? Wouldn’t it be fantastic if there was no more tragedy or suffering? I want us to look at tears this morning and I want to make three points about tears based on our text.

I. First, all of us shed tears. No matter who we are, all of us shed tears from time to time. Some of us may be more private than others and choose to not let other people see us cry, but we all shed tears. The friends and family of Lori Michelle Dilbeck expected they would be shedding tears of happiness at her wedding. Lori had everything going for her. She was a honors student who had just graduated from UTA. She had worked as an assistant at Arlington vetenary clinic and was offered a partnership if she would become a vetenarian. But Lori wanted to become a nurse so she turned down the opportunity. She had her whole life mapped out. Lori was planning to become a nurse and was preparing for the wedding that would unite her with her fiancee, Joel Martin. But none of that was to be. As Lori Dilbeck drove her car on a Mesquite highway to pick up her wedding portrait, she was hit head on by a drunk driver. She would never marry. Instead of celebrating at her wedding, her family and friends mourned at her funeral. All of us shed tears from time to time because all of us will experience tragedy. But we don’t suffer alone and that brings us to the second point.

II. Second, God knows something about tears. After all, Jesus shed a few. Jump back two thousand years. Jesus’ close friend, Lazarus has died. The Gospel of John tells us specifically that Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary. The Greek word used here indicates that they were close friends. They’d probably eaten many meals together and had discussed


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