Weeping As Jesus Wept

ReDiscovered Word

(John 11)

When Jesus saw Mary’s tears, He was angry. His indignation was not directed at her, but at death itself, that terrible thief who had stolen Lazarus away far too soon.

He burst into tears and wept, because death destroys what God creates. Jesus hated death then, and He hates it now. Death was His enemy and it remains His enemy.

He already knew that He too would pass through the valley of the shadow of death. Our Resurrection and Life would experience a terrible death. So He wept with his friend and allowed the grief to penetrate His heart, even while He knew He held the cure. Lazarus would rise again, and so would Jesus, but death still hurt.

We are not weak when we weep for the dead. Our strong Savior weeps with us, because He hates death. Death is always an enemy, and we still wait for its destruction.

Sometimes we even cry for those we’ve never met. “Why do you weep for the man in the movies? For those who live far away? For friends of friends and those you do not know?”

We cry because death is always terrible. We cry because we will die too, unless we live long enough to see the very death of death. We cry because we’ve felt the hopelessness of those who lack the strength to face life. We’ve felt the despair of the persecuted, the sick, the desperate, and the dying. Our common humanity means that we share a common fate. So we weep because death is unbearably sad. And Jesus weeps with us.

Some suggest that hope is found by digging deep inside, by simply remembering that our Creator made us for life and hope. Those men forget that we live after the Fall. Death swallowed our hope and distorted our nature. Sin and death have marred God’s creation, and every one of us feels the despair of hopelessness.

So there is no hope in us. There is only hope in this: “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” Our Savior became angry and wept, and in his anger and pain He crushed death. Lazarus came forth from the grave because Jesus hates death. He won’t accept it or abide it. He will not live at peace with death, because death is His enemy.

Lazarus died again, of course, and he still lies in his tomb. Jesus tasted death and came back to life, the first fruits of all those who will rise again. “Whoever believes in me, though He die, yet He shall live.”

Meanwhile, though, death makes us weep. Our tears are not borne of weakness but instead from the recognition that we are still waiting for our redemption to arrive. So do not be ashamed to cry for the dead. Do not be ashamed when you struggle to find hope in the midst of despair. If Jesus wept, then we can weep too. And as we weep, we remember that our Savior weeps with us. Death will be destroyed, but meanwhile it is a terrible enemy.

Resurrection is our only hope.

Tags: rediscovered word

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