4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
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21:4, 5 Wipe away every tear fulfills the promises in 7:17 and Is. 25:8. No more death … no more pain goes far beyond the earlier promise of 7:16, which promises freedom from hunger, thirst, and scorching heat. Former things have passed away echoes both v. 1 and 2 Cor. 5:17. The believer’s rebirth through faith in Christ brings newness to that person’s life, but it is only in the eternal state that God will make all things new.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Read more from Case for Christ Study Bible
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” —John 3:16
Christianity’s greatest contribution to humankind is the sharing of the good news summarized in John 3:16. This central message of the Bible portrays Jesus and our redemption through his blood. Finally, once and for all, he dealt with the issues of our guilt, our loneliness and our alienation from God. Through his atoning death and resurrection, he opened up heaven for everyone who follows him.
With this truth, Christianity provides a revelation as to the meaning of life and the existence of universal morality. Without that revelation, it’s very difficult to have any sense of life’s meaning. You end up like Albert Camus, who said in the opening paragraph of The Myth of Sisyphus, “Why should I or anyone not commit suicide?” In short, Christianity explains why not. Because of God’s profound love for us, we are able to relate to him and others in a healthy and deeply meaningful way.
—Adapted from interview with Dr. John D. Woodbridge
9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
9 However, Paul goes on to say, the "hidden" wisdom he has been preaching is the wisdom referred to in the OT. It was set forth in the promises God had prepared and laid up for his people—for those who love him. It is these promises that people like the rulers of this world still do not see and have not even thought of obeying. That God has prepared these things for us Christians implies that we will sometime know and share in these promised blessings (Ro 8:18-25), which, Paul hastens to say, have been revealed to God's people by the Spirit (v.10).
The expression "it is written" (v.9), often used to cite OT Scripture (cf. Mt 4:4; Mk 11:17; Ro 1:17, et al.), may mean here "to use the language of Scripture" or "to speak generally from Scripture" (cf. Jn 1:45), without meaning that the passage is formally cited. The first two lines of the quotation and the last line loosely refer to Isa 64:4, whereas the third line may merely be a thought from the OT generally as summarized by Paul (but cf. Isa 65:17). Verse 9 does not make a complete sentence in Greek (see the dash at the end of the verse), but Paul, in giving more than one OT thought, is not attempting strictly to weave them into his sentence structure.