The OT text for this Sunday is powerfully encouraging. It is a great foundation for each day of Holy Week, especially for Easter Sunday. It is Isaiah 25:6-9 (NRSV, from Oremus Bible Browser)
On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-matured wines,
of rich food filled with marrow, of well-matured wines strained clear.
And he will destroy on this mountain
the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
the sheet that is spread over all nations;
he will swallow up death for ever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,
and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
It will be said on that day,
Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
” . . . He will swallow up death forever.” What a great description, not to speak of what Isaiah says about God wiping away our tears and the rest of this list for mourners. This word came as a word of comfort for people who knew the taste of tears, the sting of death, the loss of hope.
It comes to us a good news as well. All of us are mourning something. If we have lived very long on this earth at all, we know the raw pain of loss. It may be the death of a friend, a parent, a child. It may be the loss of a future you once hoped for, a marriage you once cherished, or a security you once felt. Whatever the loss, we are reminded this week by Isaiah that death has been swallowed up. Even though our sorrows come and our tears flow, we have a God who reaches out to wipe them away. “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.”