Jesus wept

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John 11:33–35

Therefore when Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who came with her weeping He groaned in His spirit, and was troubled.

And He said, “Where have you laid him?”

They said to Him “Lord, come and see.”

Jesus wept.

The shortest, but arguably the most poignantly beautiful text in the entire Scripture.

His tears that day were not for Lazarus.

He knew what others did not yet know.

He was about to wake him up.

So why did Jesus weep as He approached the tomb of His friend on that cold grey morning in Bethany?

He wept when He saw the pain on the ashen faces of his sisters, Mary and Martha.

Their fledgling faith was growing. They understood the doctrine of the resurrection, but they did not yet comprehend that their dearest Friend was the one whose command would open their brother’s grave.

He wept for the neighbours who had come to console them. The curious bystanders. The hired mourners who made a business out of grief.

For those about to witness one of the greatest events in human history who would soon be part of the rabble crowd in Pilate’s judgement hall.

For His disciples.

His close companions of three and-a-half years who still did not fully understand His mission. For one of them who would deny he knew Him. For the one who would betray Him.

He wept for His beloved nation: chosen to take the gospel to the world, whose leaders had become so twisted with hate they plotted to kill Lazarus again to conceal the impact of his resurrection.

For the spies who stole away to their pious masters to report what they had seen.

For Caiaphas, whose prophetic words would seal his fate, enshrine his name in infamy and signal the events that would lead to the crucifixion. In an act beyond our imagining the Son would beg His Father to forgive His murderers.

He wept for His mother. She believed He was who He said He was. But her hopes would be shattered like shards of crystal when she gazed up at her Son on that terrifying cross.

His tears would mingle with Mary’s a few days later as she broke the alabaster box, and anointed Him for His burial. No matter that the expensive gift might have come from the earnings of her prostitution. The fragrance lingering on His body through His darkest hours would remind Him of her devotion and gratitude. Maybe just then she alone truly understood the gospel.

Perhaps He wept for the beautiful angel He had created, remembering how He had pleaded with him to turn from his rebellion and return to the Father’s embrace.

Was He overwhelmed with the sum total of the world’s misery that day as He contemplated what Lucifer had done, and what he had become?

He did not wail like the mourners, but with the same deep gut-wrenching grief He felt as He wept over the beautiful lost city of Jerusalem.

“How can I give you up Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, Israel?“

He must have wept for faithful Stephen, whose martyr’s death would mark the end of probation for His people, and rob them of their birthright.

Finally He looked ahead and He wept for us, as we gaze in shocked disbelief at the caskets of our loved ones. Our fathers, our mothers, our husbands, our wives. Our children.

He knew that 6000 years would not erase creation’s blueprint and we’ll always fail to understand the mystery of death.

Thank you dear Jesus for the tears You shed at the tomb that day.

The tears that show You are one of us.

”A Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”

You did what we do when confronted by life’s tragedies. You cried.

But thank you that You did infinitely more than weep for us.

You rose from Your tomb on that glorious morning and became our Saviour. The One who one day soon will dry our tears forever.

Revelation 21:4: “And God will wipe away every tear from our eyes: there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, for the former things have passed away.”

Judy Fua attends Kingscliff church in NSW and is looking forward to reunion day, along with those who have lost loved ones . . . that’s all of us!

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