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Words of Life With Pastor Barry Fraser Print E-mail
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Written by By Barry Fraser   
Thursday, 24 May 2018 00:00

In the Gospel of John, chapter 11, verse 35, we read, “Jesus wept.” His friend Lazarus had died. Jesus wept after speaking with Lazarus’ grieving sisters, Martha and Mary, and seeing all the mourners. That seems natural enough. Most of us would have wept too.

However, Jesus had come to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead. He knew that in a few short minutes all this weeping would turn to astonished joy, and then tearful laughter, and then worship. He had come to Bethany to bring these mourners the best news they could have imagined.

So one would think that Jesus would bring joyful calm in that storm of sorrow. However, he was “greatly troubled” and he wept. (John11:33) Why?

One reason is simply the deep compassion that Jesus felt for those who were suffering. With Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus, we get a glimpse of how the Father feels over the affliction and grief his children experience.

Another reason Jesus wept was over the calamity of sin. Death had consumed almost every human being God had created. It had taken Lazarus, and it would take him again before it was all over. Tears of anger and longing were mixed with Jesus’ tears of grief.

A third reason for weeping was the cost that he was about to pay to purchase not only Lazarus’ short-term resurrection, but his everlasting life. The cross was just days away. Jesus was going to die a horrific death to purchase it. He was looking to the joy that was set before him, but the reality of what lay between was weighing heavily.

A fourth possible reason for Jesus’ tears was that he knew that raising Lazarus would actually cause the religious leaders to finally take action to put him to death.

Just these few reasons for Jesus’ weeping at Lazarus’ tomb give us a glimpse into how God views our suffering and death. His reasons for not sparing us these things are righteous and glorious, but in them he is full of compassion. (Psalm 103:13) Jesus hates the calamity sin brings, and he himself has suffered more than we ever will ever know, in order to pay the full cost of our eternal resurrection

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