My son always jokes about memorizing Bible verses. He said he took the time and effort to memorize the verse, “Jesus wept.” Of course, we had a laugh and I rolled my eyes at his dry sense of humor. Then I sat back and thought about some of those nuggets God placed in His Word. Each one weightier than their small size and chocked full of deeper meaning.
So, let’s look at the context of that verse. One of Jesus good friends, Lazarus died. Jesus was told his friend was sick and still delayed coming to help him. Jesus waits until word came that Lazarus passed. By human perspective He had the worst timing. He was late. Lazarus could have avoided this illness with one word from the Great Physician. His sister Martha, the strong one, was a hot angry mess and her sister Mary, the kind and sensitive one, was broken down in tears of deep sorrow. It has been four days so the whole town knows the entire depressing story. It was pretty much a scene filled with as much human tragedy as the Son of God could have stepped into. As Jesus took it all in mind, soul, body, and spirit, then, Jesus wept. Nobody would blame Jesus for exhibiting such powerful emotions. People watching this commented how much he loved, Lazarus and then wondered why He didn’t prevent this moment.
What happened next blew everyone away. He told the folks standing near Lazarus’s grave to open up the grave. He had been four days already. Can imagine in that hot dry climate how the putrid smell would bring everyone standing by to tears?
Was Jesus still crying when He commanded Lazarus to come forth? Did anyone notice? The One who left the Glory of Heaven and the presence of God knew something no other living person knew. This world is a grave in itself. Lazarus had shed the mortal coils of this life. He was in paradise with all the others who had put their trust in God. Lazarus had gotten his reward and then was called back for a moment from that eternity of bliss. I wonder if he and Jesus shared a “huh?” look between them? I can hear Lazarus asking why he is back here…now. As they both looked at the crowd, the shock, the tears, the proof of other’s faith, the lightbulb came on. (Or should I say the candle?) Lazarus was a living witness of salvation. Even though it hurt to come back, He had an opportunity to help Jesus, just by sharing his story, to bring others from the dead of this world, into life eternal. Tears for a moment, but joy for a lifetime and beyond. Jesus wept, because He knew what missing home really meant.
So, next time you come across a verse like Jesus wept, try and see it though Heaven’s eyes and not your own. I hope God’s living Word speaks to you in the moment you need it the most. May you also catch those deeper meanings that will strengthen your faith and prepare you for the days to come.