“Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. And He said, “Where have you laid him?”
They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”
Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!” (John 11:33 – 36)
When Jesus received the message that Lazarus was sick, Jesus did not respond immediately, He waited two days knowing that Lazarus would die. In order to reveal God to us, Jesus had to wait for Lazarus to die, so that He could honor God’s power of raising the dead to life. Jesus knew that Lazarus was going to live.
It was when Jesus saw Mary and the Jews weeping that Jesus “groaned in spirit and was troubled” and it was then that “Jesus wept”. Although the Jews suggest that Jesus was crying because he loved Lazarus so, I think the Jews interpretation of what Jesus did and said has been consistently distorted and so I feel inclined to disagree with this view.
Just as a mother or father cries over the pain they see their child in perhaps after an accident or surgery, I think Jesus was feeling that same pain for us. Jesus was showing empathy with the mourners, feeling their sorrow. He was expressing how deeply He felt about the high price of sin. But He knew we would have to go through the pain because it was the consequence of our choices. Just as a parent would want to take away the pain or more so, take their child’s place, I think Jesus was reminded how much He wanted to take the sting of death away from us and take our place and ultimately that is what He did on the cross.
It’s hard to accept death as being a part of life. Death is unnatural, that’s why it hurts so much, and ultimately, that’s why Jesus cried.
I am comforted knowing that when I am in pain, my Savior understands my pain and He cries with me too, for He also has experienced it. It would be easy for Jesus to take all the pain away, but if I have never experienced pain, how can I ever truly appreciate the absence of pain? While I hear some of you saying, “sure, I don’t need pain to appreciate having no pain”. Well, maybe that’s why Adam and Eve became too comfortable. They had never experienced pain and so were unaware of how it felt and how serious the consequences were. Once they felt it, they realized that partaking of the fruit to ‘become like God’ really wasn’t worth it.
Sometimes, we have to lose what we have and experience the pain, in order to truly appreciate it. Mary showed her appreciation for the absence of pain and regaining her lost brother. After all it was Mary, who following the resurrection anointed Jesus with the fragrant oil from her alabaster box.
I pray that through my pain, like Mary I can draw closer to Christ knowing that He understands and He is willing to take that pain away from me. Because of the sacrifice that Jesus made I know He has put in place a plan to remove that pain eternally.
Thank You for blessing and taking us through another week. We are also thankful for the break from work and the opportunity to spend some quality time with our families and with You.
We know that You did not intend for death to become a part of our lives, but we understand that because of sin, it is a consequence. I pray that we will not become complacent about sin and its’ consequences because we know Jesus paid the price. Jesus loved us enough to sacrifice His Heavenly throne for us, let’s not take that for granted. None of us want to feel this agony, but I pray that somehow through it we can appreciate the sacrifice that You made for us. I pray it will help us to think twice about the choices we make, to sin… or not to sin.
I pray that through this pain, we can grow closer to You and more like You. Thank You for showing us You care for us deeply and that You weep with us when we mourn.
In Jesus’ Name