“Jesus wept.” John 11:35.
Jesus is standing outside Bethany. Mary has just said, “Lord, if you hadst been here, my brother had not died.” With the friends who have come with her, she stands there weeping. Faced with this scene, Jesus “groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.” Presently he is overcome with sorrow and breaks into tears. Let us consider the grief of Jesus, for it contains abundance of comfort and hope for his people.
Jesus’ Grief Shows His True Humanity
God in himself cannot suffer, for he is unchangeable. Only by becoming man could he suffer. So “the Word was made flesh, and dwell among us;” the infinite, eternal God took to Himself a human body and soul and was born as a baby in Bethlehem. This human nature was sinless, but complete and truly human. As man, Jesus could and did suffer. Because he had a human soul, he could feel grief. We should always remember that our Savior is both God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, forever. Only such a Christ could be the Mediator between God and man; only such a Christ could really save us and bring us eternal life.
Jesus’ Grief Shows His Sympathy
As our Priest, Jesus must be able to sympathize with sinful human beings (Heb. 5:1,2). At Bethany Jesus provided needed sympathy. Even though he knew that he would soon call Lazarus forth from the tomb by a word of almighty power, still for the moment sympathy was needed, and Jesus provided it. The Gospels provide many accounts of Jesus’ sympathy and compassion for the suffering and grief-stricken. Our Savior who is now enthroned in the glory of heaven still sympathizes with his people in their troubles, conflicts, disappointments, bereavements, weariness and pain. He is the great High Priest who sympathizes with his own and will comfort them by his Holy Spirit.
Jesus’ Grief Shows His Indignation At Evil
Scripture never represents sin or death as tolerable; it has no sentimental attitude toward them. It represents them as absolutely evil, utterly dreadful, starkly contrary to God. The Bible calls death “the last enemy that shall be destroyed.” Death is an enemy because it is the work of the enemy, Satan. Jesus here stands face to face with death, the wages of sin, the fullest work of the enemy. Jesus groaned with the deepest moral indignation against that which absolutely ought not to be, this alien invasion of God’s Creation by the power of evil. Death is dreadful because it is the wages of sin; sin is dreadful because it is absolutely contrary to the nature of God. Death, and sin which causes death, are so evil that when the Son of God stood among sorrowing relatives at the grave of a beloved friend, his very soul was shaken by the sense of the awfulness of this work of the great enemy.
Jesus’ Grief Guarantees That Evil Will Be Abolished
Jesus stands here not as a helpless spectator, but as a King, clothed with almighty power. He was manifested to destroy the works of the devil, by His life, death, resurrection, ascension and second coming in glory. What made Jesus groan and weep must be abolished. God, not Satan, is in control of the universe; therefore evil will be abolished for God’s children; and for those who are not God’s children, evil will be isolated for all eternity in hell. In raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus presently gave a sample of the abolition of evil. When he comes in glory, all his people shall rise again, nevermore to die. When he comes again, he will not weep a single tear, nor will any of his people experience sorrow, sadness or heartache.
Do you know Jesus as your own Savior, your own Prophet, Priest and King? Remember, it is for HIS PEOPLE that he has abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel. Receive him as your Savior and Lord today.