Next week our theme in our One Word devotional readings is Grief, so Sunday we’re going to study the story about Jesus’ weeping near the grave of his friend Lazarus.
Grief touches us all sooner or later, so there’s a good chance you’ve felt its burden. It’s real, it hurts, and to some extent it’s inevitable.
But it doesn’t have to be debilitating. One aspect of the Lord’s incarnation is that he experienced fully what it means to be human. While fully God, he was also fully man. He hurt, he got tired, thirsty, and hungry. And he grieved.
It’s hard to know everything that Jesus was feeling when he saw Mary and Martha and sensed their tremendous grief over losing their brother. The text simply says that Jesus cried. Maybe it was because he saw pain in the eyes of these two women, his good friends. Maybe it was because he felt the terrible burden of sin’s damaging influence in the world . . . after all, death wasn’t supposed to be part of the human experience.
Whatever the cause, Jesus experienced grief. Just as you have when you stood heartbroken at the grave of a mom or dad or spouse or child. Jesus cried.
Sunday we’ll explore what John 11 teaches us about grief. He doesn’t remove it entirely from our earthly experience, of course, but he changes the way we see it. He removes some of its sting.