By Pastor Royston Smith
The call greatly troubled my emotions and seriously affected my tears. I wept. Immediately I had flashbacks of a close family friend of Jesus who lived in a small town called Bethany. Jesus wept after speaking with Lazarus’s grieving sisters, Martha and Mary, and seeing all the mourners. That seems natural enough. Except that Jesus had come to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead. In the shortest verse in the Bible, John declares, (John 11:35) “Jesus wept.” The two-word verse emphasizes the point that the author wants us to pause and not gloss over. But why?
“Human being was sinful at birth, sinful from the time their mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5). Besides, the Bible teaches, “that the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). Jesus saw the suffering of the people and the pain death causes. Jesus deeply cared about Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. He immersed himself into their pain. He showed empathy when they hurt. He attended their mourning to returned joy.
There is a thought that states, “For your every tear, know that I’ll always be here. To bare one pain we both will share, know I’ll never disappear.” He is contented and enthusiastic to appear and share in your dark and dreary moment. Jesus wept to show you his deep and uncompromising love that he has for you. He’s the first one to meet you in your valleys of hurt and share your heart-breaking moments.
Oswald Chambers taught, “Faith for my deliverance is not faith in God. Faith means, whether I am visibly delivered or not, I will stick to my belief that God is love. There are some things only learned in a fiery furnace.” The Apostles questioned Jesus’ reason for going to Bethany knowing that he was a refugee running from the Jewish mob who had threatened his life. Upon his return Mary questioned his reason for coming, after the death of Lazarus. “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26). Lazarus was raised. Doubt was transformed into resurrection and praise. Jesus wants to convert your bereavement into joy. He wants to exchange your ashes into beauty.
Jesus wept due the lack of faith demonstrated by his closest friends – the Apostles and Mary. Paul pointed out, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Jesus relationship with you is simply responding to him by faith. That is the how you must live the Christian life. By that means, the weight of responsibility (and ability) stays with God. Wherever real faith is found it is a good thing. Jesus was the answer to Lazarus’ death – being the resurrection and the life. True faith leads to your salvation, peace, and joy.”
Jesus wept because he saw his own death. By His death on the cross He paid the price for your sins – fully and completely. However, the pain that comes with death and the dark impact that separation has on Jesus genuinely affected his emotions. At the point of death, he supplicated, (Matthew 26:39 The Message (MSG)) “Going a little ahead, he fell on his face, praying, “My Father, if there is any way, get me out of this. But please, not what I want. You, what do you want?” Even the song of God felt the pangs and pains of death.
Head Deacon Stan’s health continues to recover with medical intervention and intercessory prayers. My tears are drying. My faith is increasing. My humanity is waning. Jesus’ tear point to a greater hope in this unprecedented time of coronavirus and death. Revelation 21:4 encourages us in this hope: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Tears are languages and God understands.
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