Jesus Wept by J.J. Tissot
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Jesus wept. John 11:35
Jesus the man. He felt the same emotions I feel. Nowhere is this more evident than in the area of grief, sorrow, and rejection. The shortest most poignant verse of all scripture is the capture of His emotion in the words, “Jesus wept.” This is not a silent tear sliding down His cheek. No, this is the wail of a broken heart. The Greek klaio means “he burst into tears.” This is uncontainable sorrow wracking the entire body. Psalm 116:15 reminds us of the Lord’s thoughts when one of His children or friends die. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” The Hebrew for weeping is dama or the “entering into someone’s heart and feeling their grief and pain.” Hebrews 4:15 teaches us Jesus sympathizes with our weakness and to go boldly to God for Jesus our High Priest fully understands and intercedes for us based on this understanding. In fact, Jesus understands so much He picks up every tear we shed and remembers them by saving them and dying to redeem them and all the pain, grief, sorrow, death, and shame that caused the tears to flow. (Revelation 21:4, Psalm 56:8)
So what exactly did Jesus weep over? The death of John the Baptist, His forerunner, cousin was cruelly beheaded to appease a spoiled, evil daughter of Herod. He was so grieved He wanted to be alone. (Matthew 14:13) Jesus wept at the unbelief of His own people, the ones He came to save first. (John 11:33-35) He sorrowed over His city, Jerusalem. He foretold it’s demise and the woes that would bring her down. (Matthew 23, Luke 19:41) Jesus wept at the tomb of His friend Lazarus and with the sisters so distraught because He did not come. Or at least in their eyes He did not come soon enough. Repeatedly the scriptures tell us “He was moved with compassion” for the sheep without a Shepherd. (Matthew 9:36, Matthew 23:37)
He wept in the Garden of Gethsemane as He faced the greatest trial of His life. He wept with those in grief and in pain. He knew these emotions in His own life.
Have you ever been so moved with compassion you cried with another though their experiences would not directly affect you? You have experienced the heart of God and why He sent Jesus. He came to rescue us from the pain, sorrow, death, destruction, disease, and demonic oppression we face. I recently heard Ann Voskamp passionately reflect an experience in her life within the walls of the church where a pastor was flippantly stating he had once lived near the “looney bin.” She sat there wanting desperately to flee because on more than one occasion she had been forced to take her Mama to the psychiatric hospital. She said her heart wanted to stand on the pew and scream: “When the church is not for the broken, it is not for Christ!” I could not agree more. “The church is a hospital not a hospice.” (I wish I knew who said that, my version was “the church should be a hospital for sinners not a haven for saints.” Hospice is better!)
Hebrews 2:17, Paul writes, “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.”
I do not like to cry. I do all I can to avoid tears. I have even told my friends who rallied around me following the death of the officer and gentleman, “Don’t be nice to me!” You see, their kindness brought me to tears and I was afraid if I ever started crying I would never stop. I still have those days. Feelings worn on my shoulders, I, like Jesus, retreat to try to be alone. The grief is so overwhelming even after ten years. Weeping is our heart on our face. Jesus let His heart show on His face. His own grief and the grief He shared with others was real! It was genuine! It broke His heart wide open!
Rebekah Lyons wrote Free Fall to Fly and speaks nationally. She said, “Your calling comes from where your gifts (those God given capabilities) and burdens (those things that break your heart) collide.” She further stated: “The measure of the trials you have endured is directly related to the measure of HOPE you will offer the world.” (emphasis mine) I think she just summed up Jesus life. His gifts collided with the burdens of a fallen world and He endured the trials we face to bring us glorious hope in our struggle.
Jesus faced the silence of heaven,(2/20/17) loss of loved ones, (5/22/17) attacks by the enemy, 5/31/17) unbelief in His enoughness, (6/12/17) and the list goes on. He is indeed our brother, like we are. He gives us hope and proves we can live fully even in the storms of life that break our hearts. Today, if you stand by an open grave, by a hospital bedside, by a phone that will not ring, on a hillside waiting for one to come home, or in a church to pray, remember our struggles have a divine purpose–to offer hope, build in us compassion, and lift our eyes to the heavens. “Go ahead, let your prayers roll down your cheeks!”
https://youtu.be/pxvnVa-dGT8 Just Cry by Mandisa
(you may want to put this one on repeat!)
Treading in His HOPE,