It’s the shortest verse in the entire bible; just two words. “Jesus wept.”
I learned about its existence as a little girl in Sunday School. I was excited considering it was definitely much shorter and certainly easier to memorize than most of our assigned bible verses.
What I find interesting is some want to debate why Christ wept. It came at a time that His dear friend Lazarus had passed away. Jesus made His way to the city where Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha resided but was stopped short before reaching their home. Lazarus died before Christ arrived.
Some trains of thought are that Jesus’ deep friendship and devoted love for Lazarus caused Christ to weep over the reality of Lazarus’ death. Jesus, above everyone else, knew that dying is a fact of life none of us can escape. Jesus stood to regain His composure and promised His followers that God’s glory would be revealed.
Other theologians believe quite the opposite. They believe with Christ’s eternal knowledge, He knew that Lazarus was in a better place. That place where all God’s children who have entered into a vibrant relationship with Christ the Son wind up at the end of life. Paradise. Heaven. The eternal resting place for all believers. These theologians believe and teach that Jesus’ tears had nothing to do with Lazarus’ death. They teach the tears had more to do with Christ’s regret that He was waking Lazarus up from this peaceful, eternal state returning him to a world of hurt, pain, and persecution.
I personally believe most of us miss the point entirely. I don’t think the lesson or sermons need to be about why Christ cried. I think the lesson in the story has everything to do with the fact that Christ did cry. He was human. He felt human pain. He shed human tears. He taught us that grief, emotion, and tears are okay.
If Christ weeps, we no longer have to feel weak or defeated by our tears. Since Christ wept, we have full freedom to do the same in those times that tears need to flow.
Weep. It doesn’t really matter when, how, or why we cry – just feel. Allow your God-designed emotions to operate within your God-designed body. Do not be afraid of human emotion. God created us with deep, rich emotions. We are made in His image. Nothing we possess from Him can be bad if it is of Him.
By shutting down tough emotions in our lives, we run the risk of shutting out the glorious emotions that help us celebrate life as well. We can turn into a person who feels nothing.
Jesus wept. Therefore His instruction manual (the Holy Bible) teaches us tears are okay.