2012-01-27 - Jesus Wept
Based on a Sermon Originally Preached 2009-05-06 ~ Part 2
Jesus wept because of their despair. He saw the pain and suffering of Mary and Martha (Look at verses 19-20 and 31-33). We cry when a friend cries. It is part of our nature.
There was this little girl who came home late one day from school and her mother was pretty upset about it. Her mother really started to rant and rave over the fact that she was so late until she finally settled down enough to ask her why she was late.
The girl told her mother that today was show and tell and that Sarah had brought a china doll that her grandmother had given her and on the way home she dropped it and it broke and she stayed to help her. Her mother's tone instantly changed and she told the little girl how proud she was that she stopped to help Sarah fix her china doll. The little girl replied instantly and said, "No Mommy the doll was too broke to fix, I just stayed to help Sarah cry."
Like Jesus, this little girl didn't offer any advice, any funny story, or even a piece of chocolate cake to cheer her up. She simply sat down and helped her cry. That's why Jesus cried. He was helping Mary cry. He knew the miracle that was about to take place, but he was moved and troubled. He had compassion for them in their sorrow. In weeping he says, "I understand your grief. I get it. It's not how things should be. Death is awful, separation from loved ones is terrible."
Jesus wept because of their doubt. In verses 21-22, they tell Jesus, "If you'd been here we believe he could have been healed but not now." In verses 23-28, he explained that Lazarus will rise again and she was all "Yeah, yeah, sure at the end of the world I know." Finally in verses 39-40, Jesus says to roll away the stone and Martha complains he will stink; she doubts Jesus can do anything except have his stomach turned by the stench of a rotting corpse. In weeping Jesus cries, "I can help. Just let me."
Jesus wept because of death. Death is real. We all must face it. Knowing it is coming doesn't make it easier. Birth has a near 100% mortality rate. Jesus knew that he himself would soon face death. He knew his friends and family would soon experience this same loss that was being felt by Lazarus' friends and family. Jesus knew death was the final enemy. He conquered sin and the grave - sin on Good Friday and the grave on Easter. In weeping, he says, "Death is difficult but I will be there with you."
Jesus wept because of his devotion. Jesus cried not only for the family but also because he too experienced loss. According to verses 5 and 36, he was Lazarus' friend. He felt the pain of losing a friend. It was visibly noticeable to onlookers; I imagine it was a chest-heaving, snot-running kind-of-thing not a little lump-in-the-throat, misty-eyed experience. He also may have cried knowing he was having to yank Lazarus back from heaven. If I were Lazarus I'd be really bummed out.
Wow so Jesus cared about Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. What does this have to do with me? 1 Peter 5:7 says, "Cast all your cares upon him because he cares for you." He cares enough to cry. When you have lost a family member, Jesus wept. When you have been laughed at, Jesus wept. When you have suffered any pain at all, Jesus wept When you sin, killing yourself little by little, he also weeps In your sin, shame, and suffering - in it all - you are not alone. He is there and he weeps.
All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted.