#742 – Jesus Wept (John 11:35)

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“Jesus wept.”
(John 11:35)

Two words, and that’s an easy Bible verse to memorize, “Jesus wept.” But it is an awesome picture, reality, truth to contemplate.

Here’s Jesus, God in the flesh, who is about to raise Lazarus from the dead, and he knows that he’s about to show that he’s the resurrection and the life. He’s about to bring his friend to life, those who people are mourning for. Yet before he does that, the picture here, Jesus is deeply moved in spirit, greatly troubled. Those are the words that describe how Jesus feels when he sees Martha, and Mary, and friends, and family weeping over Lazarus’ death. As they wept, he wept with them. He identified with their emotions, with their hurt, with their heaviness, with their sorrow.

We have a God who has come to us. He knows what it means to be greatly troubled. He is able to identify and empathize with our hurt. Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. We know that in Christ we will be with God forever.

Like I think about the moment when my brother called me and told me that my dad had just unexpectedly died of a heart attack. Man, I’m doing it now. I just, I began to weep. I mean in that moment, I fell on the floor like uncontrollably sobbing, so overwhelmed with sorrow in a way that, yeah, is fresh even right now. Like death is sorrowful. Separation like that is sad, and it’s heavy, and it hurts.

I’m guessing you have experienced this as well in some way, if you haven’t that you will. The good news of the Bible here in John 11:35 is that we do not have a God who is distant from us and our emotions, who is not able to identify with our hurt, and our pain, and our sorrow. We have a God who has come to us who is like us, Jesus like us in every way except without sin. He knows what it means to weep over the loss of a friend. He knows what it means to be deeply moved in spirit and greatly troubled.

When you walk through sorrow, when you walk through pain, know this, you have a God in heaven, you have a King, you have a Savior who is able to identify with your hurt and empathize with your weakness and in this to bring healing, and help, and strength, and comfort, and peace, and ultimately victory. I mean, that’s the whole picture here in John 11. Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life, and he who believes in me will never die. Even though he dies, he will live.”.

Like I know my dad, because he trusted in Jesus, he lives. He died, but he lives today. This is my hope, that because I’ve trusted in Jesus, I know that when I die I will live, and I’ll see my dad, and I’ll see all those who have gone before and put their faith in Jesus, in the King who came and suffered on our behalf, the King who came and paid the price for our sin, who endured sorrow on our behalf, the ultimate sorrow taking the sins of the world upon himself. He died, and then three days later he rose, the resurrection and the life. He’s our victory. He’s our joy. He’s our peace. He’s our confidence. He is our hope.

We pray. We pray in the midst of a world of sin, and sorrow, and suffering, and death. God, we praise you. Jesus. We praise you for your love for us, for your care for us, for your identification with us, for this picture of weeping with us when we hurt, when we walked through pain, that you are not distant from us, that you are with us, and that you intercede for us by your Spirit with groans that words cannot even express, Romans 8 teaches. We praise you.

We praise you for this, and we pray for your help. We pray for your help. I imagine there are some who are listening to this right now who have endured loss, have seen family member, friend, spouse, parent, somebody close to them die recently. God, I pray for your grace. Even if there was a reason, even if it was a long time ago and the hurt is still real and the grief is still there, please show your grace. Show your comfort. Show your strength. Show your peace.

As we look you, we pray for all these things and we praise you that you are the resurrection and the life. We praise you, Jesus, that death and sorrow did not have the last word, that weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. All glory be to your name. We praise you for this, and we pray that you would help us to make this good news known to people around us today before they die. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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