The Grief of the Lord

Joh 11:35 KJV Jesus wept.

Jesus stood before Lazarus’s tomb and wept. Knowing he was going to regenerate Lazarus’s body, Jesus wept. Knowing he was going to resurrect Lazarus, Jesus wept. Our Creator, our Savior, the giver of life, who was going to return Lazarus to life, wept.

Why? Why would Jesus grieve at a time like this? Why wasn’t he rejoicing?

Jesus wept because we have a merciful high priest who understands us and our infirmities. One who has been tempted as we are, bore our sin, and tasted death on our behalf.

Lazarus died, as we all do, because of sin. Not sins, but sin. Some may die as a result of particular sins, we all die because of sin. Call it sin, call it sin nature, call it flesh, whatever you call it, it is that evil that infects us with hatred of and rebellion toward God. And sin, in turn, brings death. Death is the temporal outworking of the wrath of God on our bodies. If outside of Christ, then death is also the eternal outworking of the wrath of God on our souls. The first death brings a temporary separation of persons from one another and is grievously painful and sad. The second death brings an eternal separation of a person from the love and blessings of God and is unimaginably painful and sad.

Jesus wept, even though he knew what he was going to do, because he understood the fearful cost of sin to us. We are sinners, our hearts, souls, and minds are infected with sin. All our works are tainted by sin. God is holy and just. His justice demands that the soul that sins must die. His holiness demands that we be perfect as he is perfect. Jesus looked at the anguish that the death of Lazarus caused his sisters. The anguish of other family members and friends. Jesus looked at all the misery caused by the sin of man and he wept. Because the holiness and righteousness of God cannot be set aside. They must be fulfilled.

The need for forgiveness of sin was evident to all: without sin, neither Lazarus, nor anyone else would die. The need for someone to call Lazarus, and every other human being, out of death, was evident to all. And it would very soon be seen that Jesus was the only one who could. He is the resurrection. He is the life. But many there that day could not see it.

So Jesus wept.

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