16th November 2019

The Tears of Jesus

“Jesus began to weep.”
John 11:35 (NRSV)

Tears are special things. We know all about them because every one of us has shed them for one reason or another. There are always occasions in life when these hot, salty globules of moisture well up in our eyes and run down our cheeks. There are tears of anger, tears of disappointment, tears in times of sickness and pain, tears of sorrow and loss. But there are also tears of joy. Tears are the natural outlet of our nature under the stress of different emotions, and sometimes we even cry in sympathy with one another. Jesus himself is recorded as weeping on three separate occasions—perhaps you remember those events?

There was great sorrow in the home of Mary and Martha when their brother Lazarus had died. He had been buried for four days and Jesus had just arrived. On seeing the depth of their grief and watching the tears roll down their faces, Jesus cried too! He entered into the sorrow of his friends and shed tears too. Yet there was more than sympathy in those tears, there was also strong indignation and even anger as one translation has it, “Then, Jesus, angry in himself again, came to the tomb” (Holman). The heart of Jesus was filled with indignation at this evil thing that causes so much sorrow and pain—death! Death is a root cause of suffering and sorrow! Paul informs us about this in Romans 5:18, where he writes “So as one sin of Adam brought the punishment of death to all people, one good act that Christ did makes all people right with God. And that brings true life for all” (NCV).

Jesus also cries bitter tears because of his rejection by the Jewish people. He wails for Jerusalem and the fate that awaits it. He came to be the deliverer but was scorned and crucified (Luke 19: 41-44).

And of course, he wept tears because of the heavy load he had to bear, becoming the only sacrifice that could remove sin permanently. The sacrifice to end all sacrifices! (Hebrews 5:7). In the Garden of Gethsemene he cried out to his Father three times for help but eventually he prayed “Father, not my will but yours be done!” (Luke 22:42). Yes! He wept under the load of our sin and the price he had to pay to atone for it and to reconcile us to our Father. He knows what it is like to cry bitterly; just like us!

Father, thank you for such a faithful Saviour, who endured the cross for every one of us, delivering humanity from sin, death and Satan.

Study by Cliff Neill

About the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Harry Sullivan
Phone: 01908-582222
Email: luton@gracecom.church

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