“When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. ‘Where have you laid him?’ he asked. ‘Come and see, Lord,’ they replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’” (John 11:33-36)
Is this account for the purpose of showing Jesus’ compassion? Was it His sorrow over Lazarus’ death or His grief over His followers not trusting Him enough to know He could bring Lazarus back from death? Or was He grieving over the consequence of Original Sin, death, plaguing the people He loved? Whatever the true reason, we do see Jesus truly feeling the death of Lazarus. He is touched in His inner spirit with this loss. This is no little thing for the sake of demonstrating His power to bring life from death. Here is God the Son, representing the Father and the Spirit, in grieving over death that came upon humankind because of disobedience.
Why do we weep at the death of a loved one? It is because we will no longer have the opportunity to know them in this earthly pilgrimage? Do we grieve because we are not sure if they have a relationship with Jesus that will bring them to Eternal Life with Him? Or do we grieve over the bigger picture of disobedience that has brought death upon us? Whatever the reason God knows them all. He has experienced them all and stands with us in our sorrow, weeping with us. What love is that! It is the love of God!
Heavenly Father, Your love is expressed to us through Your Son, and by Your Spirit. You continue to touch us where we are with the assurance that in this life, with its uncertainty, there is the certainty of life on the other side. There is life with You for Eternity because of Jesus. Alleluia! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.