Often when I ask the students I’m working with what their favorite verse in Scripture is, they’ll quote “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).I think that may well be because that’s the shortest verse in the Bible and thus the easiest to remember!No matter; it is also a verse you and I should have firmly planted in our minds and hearts, because it holds outvirtually limitless comfort to the Christian.
Imagine for a moment: the Son of God—our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the creator and sustainer of all things—weeping!The question we have to ask is,Why?Why was Jesus weeping?John11 relates the story of the death of Lazarus, a man whom Jesus loved.Lazarus’ sisters sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was ill.But Jesuscame too late; Lazarus was dead and buried when He arrived.And Jesus wept. All hope was lost!
Or was it? In just a few minutes Jesus was going to raise Lazarus from the dead.Lazarus would soon be breathing again . . . walking again . . . talking again.Jesus had known for days what He was about to do; He had purposely arrived after Lazarus had died in order to glorify His Father.
But He wept anyway!Why?Why would Jesus weep if He knew Lazarus would be alive again in mere moments?The answer is that Jesus hated what sin and death had done to this world.The great enemy of all mankind is death.Some spend a lifetime trying to push this truth out of their minds.Others delude themselves into thinking death is just an illusion. And some are held captive by their fear of death, right up until they breathe their last (Hebrews 2:15).
There is no one who has walked the face of this earth who hated death more than Jesus.No one ever grieved over death more than our God.No one ever felt death’s horrible implications more profoundly than our Lord.
Not only did Jesus taste the sting of death, He tasted the forsaking of His Father.Though they had been together for all eternity, while Jesus was hanging on the cross, taking our sins upon Himself, the Father could no longer look upon His precious Son.Jesus hated death so much that He Himself became the death of death by suffering death Himself . . . death, the last enemy to be destroyed.
Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.The last enemy to be destroyed is death.(1 Corinthians 15:20-26)
Jesus wept “tears of truth,” and we should weep too.But we must alwaysremember that a day is coming when there will be no more death (Revelation 21:4).Because of the resurrection of our Lord—which is the guarantee of our own resurrection—we can sing . . . We can shout! In our weeping we still know that death no longer has any hold on us.“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55).
How remarkable that Jesus wepttears of truth!And consider the words said by the Jews who saw Him: “See how he loved [Lazarus]!” That’s how much He loves you too!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!