Saturday, August 17, 2013

Jesus Wept

image Now I think I better understand the poignancy of these two small words buried deep in John 11.

As you are aware, Jesus wept when he arrived at the home of his dear friends, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Lazarus had been dead for three days and Mary and Martha had been hit hard by this untimely and even preventable tragedy. Upon seeing the pain this death had caused His friends and perhaps struggling to understand His own emotions, Jesus wept.

But why?

More than anyone, Jesus knew the Plan of Salvation. He knew where Lazarus was. Jesus knew that Lazarus’ pain was over. Lazarus had fought a good fight and finished the race. Christ was aware that death is merely a passage way each of us will take in our journey back to that God who gave us life.

Yet, He wept. Despite all that He knew and despite who He was, Jesus wept.


Biblical scholars all have their insights into this seemingly strange reaction. But having just gone through the death of a dear friend, I think I have an explanation -- at least one that suits my current needs.

I am on firm doctrinal ground when I state that Christ, as a mortal, had to experience the full onslaught of the human experience in order to qualify to be our advocate to the Father. Yes, the preponderance of this suffering could only come through His atoning experience, that much is for sure. But a critical part of His ability to heal our pain and dry our tears comes from what He experienced during His own life.

image I am convinced that Jesus wept because this may have been the first time He experienced death so closely. He knew He would raise Lazarus from the dead. He told his apostles this well before they arrived. But the theory of death is always much simpler to understand that the reality of death.

I feel Jesus wept because of His great love for Lazarus. Add to this the deep mourning of  Mary and Martha whom He loved as well. He wept because He grieved the untimely death of a good friend. He wept because the death of a loved one is hard.

image But, there is hope even amidst the pain. For Christ, during this same experience stated the only words that can bring peace to a grieving soul:

I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.

Our family will miss our dear friend Dorothy Gillespie. We will grieve. We will weep. But we have hope that though she is dead, yet shall she live.

I thank each of you for your words of support and prayers during this difficult time.

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