THIS I BELIEVE: GOD SHEDS TEARS
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
The shortest verse in the Bible is one of great power and pathos. In the 11th chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus stands at the tomb of his friend, Lazarus, and weeps. It is curious that it takes Jesus 21 verses to arrive at the tomb. After all, he learns of Lazarus’ sickness in verse one of the chapter but does not arrive until verse 21. And by then, Lazarus is dead. As Jesus comforts Lazarus’ sisters, as he sees the mourning friends, Jesus weeps.
Why does he weep? Why does the man who can heal the lame, give sight to the blind and who will, in just a few verses, heal Lazarus, weep? Maybe he weeps because he sees the sadness of those around him. Maybe he weeps because those who know him best still do not believe in his power. Maybe he weeps because sadness can be contagious. We may never know exactly why Jesus weeps, but I am glad he does. It means he, like you and me, can be overcome with emotion. It means his human side is visible for all to see. It means he knows what it is to feel loss and pain. I am glad God-the-Son weeps because it draws the circle around him and us just a little bit tighter, just a bit more familiar. I want a God-the-Son who can feel the same emotion I feel. I want him to weep. Then, he will not be afraid or unfamiliar with my tears. This God who cries knows how I feel and that makes me smile.