'Jesus wept'

Wednesday Reflection

7th October 2020

'"See how he loved him!" ...'

34 "Where have you laid him?" he asked.
   "Come and see, Lord," they replied.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"

John 11:34-36 NIV.

There are times when there are no words -
the situation is so heart breaking
that we feel it deep down
in our souls
but, as followers of Jesus, we have hope.

We know that God is in charge
and he uses all things
for our good and his glory.
But we still grieve.

It isn't a lack of faith or trust,
it's the response of
the human hearts to a fallen world.

The story of Lazarus in John's Gospel
tells of a time when Jesus himself grieved.
There are so many facets
to the story of Lazarus;
Jesus knew him -
this wasn't just someone
who pursued him in a crowd
or heard of his miracles.

This was a friend Jesus spent time with.
We know Jesus loved everyone,
but the Bible specifically tells us,

'Now Jesus loved Martha
 and her sister and Lazarus.'

(John 11:5)

Jesus had dinner with Lazarus
and his sisters.
Jesus even found himself
in the middle of a sister drama
with Mary and Martha

(Luke 10:38-42).

He knew this family
and they knew him - personally.
That was one of the many reasons
why the death of Lazarus was such a shock.
It was hard to understand why.
We all know how the story ends;
Lazarus didn't stay dead for long;
Jesus displayed what he proclaimed -
he is the resurrection and the life.
But in the middle,
between death and life,
something else happened.

'Jesus wept'

(John 11:35)

This raises a question - Why?
Jesus knew Lazarus would die,
but he also knew that Lazarus
would live again.
Why weep?
He could have started with

'Lazarus, come out.'

(John 11:43b),

but he chose
to shed tears publicly instead.

Many scholars and theologians
have theories on this but
the Bible doesn't say why Jesus
reacted in this way,
so we don't really know;
but I'm glad he did,
for it reminds me that
some moments don't need words.

They don't need explanations
or proclamations.
They are simply a time to grieve.

The best advice I ever received,
from a friend, when I was going through
a very dark time,
was to let go;
just 'feel' whatever I was feeling,
acknowledge the pain;
the healing would come later.

King Solomon wrote,

'To everything there is a season'

(Ecclesiastes 3:1);

this includes grief.
As we walk through sad times,
we can take strength
and comfort from the fact
that we have a Saviour
who is our sympathetic
and understanding High Priest.
A Saviour who gives us hope
and eternal life.

A Saviour who wept.