Jesus wept. (John 11:35)
When God Cried
The gospel of John is the clearest treatise on the divine nature of Jesus but it is the most profound book with the human side of Jesus openly revealed in His earthly nature. Death made God cry. Lazarus had died and Mary and Martha had grieved his death as they entombed their brother behind the solid rock. They had not understood why Jesus delayed when told of the impending death of Lazarus. Jesus had healed so many and they hoped through His divine hand Lazarus would be spared. They watched in grief as Lazarus died and then prepared his burial garments binding him head and foot. Jesus arrived on the fourth day to a home filled with tears, sorrow, and great loss. The heart of Jesus was crushed under the weight of the human frailty of life.
Jesus groaned as He approached the tomb of Lazarus. Death has so many tentacles that reach the heart with its darkness of grief and sorrow. The finger of Hades had reached into the soul of Jesus and torn it asunder. There was nothing more John could write but the profound words that when Jesus approached the tomb of Lazarus, He cried. It is hard to envision the image of the Divine weeping tears. The sting of death reached the throne of God and made tears flow upon the face of God’s Son. He understands. He knows. He weeps.
Tears are the cleansing of the soul when touched with grief. The power of God’s creation is to put into the heart of man compassion and love expressed through the pouring of water from the eyes with trembling lips, crushed hearts and weakened hands. There is no greater emotion that binds the soul of man to his eternal nature than to know the feeling of death. Man was created in the image of God because He knows how to weep. Sorrow is the emotion that floods the soul with incredible power that feels as if there is no air left in the world. Darkness overshadows the mind with storms of grief in seeking answers to the questions of why. There is anger. Despair fills the hands with empty answers. Tears continue to flow.
Vance Havner said, “Death can hide but not divide.” The loss of loved ones removes a life force that was vibrant, joyful, and happy and with all the hopes of life set before them. Tragedy removes in an instant the joy and happiness. The burdens of Job who lost so much at one time become more readily clear in the opening dawn of the day after. Jesus wept because He loved. The Son of God cried because Lazarus had died and Mary and Martha were grieved. He wanted all the world to know that He understands in every way the grief of a broken heart. Jesus did not take away death. He allowed it to remain so that death could be overcome with hope. Death is a powerful sting that nearly breaks all the spirit of the soul but eternal life in Jesus Christ opens the tear-filled eyes to the hope of a better day in eternity. Loved ones who have died are hidden from sight but they are not lost if it is known they reside in the bosom of God’s love. Jesus wept because He was a man but He knew the power of resurrection and the hope of life after death because He was God.
The darkness of death’s cold hand descended upon the hearts of God’s people Tuesday. A family was lost. A son. A daughter. A grandchild. These were among many that perished. There are no words to take away the pain. It comes raw and unyielding. Hope is diminished and then taken away with the news of their death. Hearts are destroyed. Hands tremble. Tears flow like great fountains. As the day dawns and the world awakens to another sunrise the Son of God stands at the tomb and weeps. He cries. God sheds tears for the broken-hearted. The darkness of loss envelops the souls of the near and those who are drawn near. A church grieves again in the face of tragedy revisited in so many years.
Through the grace of God, the days will become brighter and the hearts tender. The tears of Jesus will give way to the joy of hope. Frailty will grow to strength. People of God unite more strongly in death and blessed by the presence of those who share a like precious faith, the hearts of the bereaved will find comfort and solace in the embrace of their brethren. Hymns will resound once again and the word of God will encase the broken hearts with fortitude. God’s people will draw closer together and a bond of eternal love will bind the broken spirits. Death will do its best to destroy but there will be no victory for the pangs of death when those who perish are those who die in the Lord.
Three special people. One family. A loss without measure. Grief beyond understanding. Hope in the tears of Jesus. Comfort in the arms of God. Strength in the love of brethren. Joy when Jesus returns. Please, Lord. Come quickly.