Jesus wept

John 11: 35

Jesus wept. by Anna Wiley

In John 11 is found the story of Lazarus’ death, and how Jesus raised him from the dead. When Jesus visited Lazarus’ tomb, John tells us that He wept. But we know that He would return Lazarus to life only a few verses later. Why then, we ask, would Jesus weep, if He knew that Lazarus would rise again? And we also cannot help asking why Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, but he will not raise our loved ones who have died?

Jesus raised Lazarus so that He could show the glory of God to the witnesses by the tomb, to put it in His words. But we don’t know why He does not perform the same miracles today. We know that all who have died in Christ will be raised up in Him in the end, but the end is a long time to wait. And it is infallibly in our nature as humans to be impatient. It is incredibly hard to trust that God has a plan in this world of death and pain and sorrow, and it is hard to believe that each tear we shed is precious in His sight. If that is so, then why would He allow this sorrow to continue? Why do we still suffer? Why won’t He give us a miracle like He gave to Lazarus? Why?

In verse 32, Mary confronts Jesus, and says, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” And upon hearing this, and seeing Mary and her friends weeping, He was ‘deeply moved in spirit, and troubled.’

Perhaps we can’t know the answer to the question, ‘Why?’ Perhaps we can’t see what God’s plan is for us and for those we love, both in this life, and after us. Trusting Him is hard. And living in this world where we know we cannot escape from pain is hard. But at least we know that we do not have to go through it alone. Jesus weeps with us and prays for us in our times of loss and sorrow. Perhaps it is hard for us to feel His presence at these times, but even if we cannot feel it we know that He is still with us.

Lord, help us to remember that you are with us through all times, both good and bad.
Help us to trust you and lean on you for comfort and support both through this Lenten season, and throughout the rest of the year. Amen.