Jesus wept. John 11:35
Lord Jesus, we all know this verse answers the question, “What’s the shortest verse in the Bible?” But it’s also a candidate for the most profound verse in the Bible. Your aching, passionate tears, shed outside of Lazarus’s tomb, are one of the greatest showers that have ever kissed the face of the earth; one of the most glorious expressions of friendship ever witnessed; one of the most comforting scenes recorded in the Scriptures. How we praise you for your heart water, Jesus.
You knew that within a matter of moments, your friend would breathe again. You knew he’d walk again. You knew you’d get to enjoy his company again. And yet you wept convulsively in the presence of his death. It was well said by those honored to see your sacred fury and great sadness, “See how he loved him!” (John 11:36).
Jesus, I’m glad to know you as a tenderhearted Savior—especially during seasons when I have friends facing huge losses, hard providences and painful crosses—untimely deaths and unmanageable messes. It’s easy to join the cry, “Lord, if only you’d been there . . .”
Jesus, no one hates death—in any form, more than you. No one. No one feels its horrid implications more profoundly. No one grieves its ugly violation more deeply. No one longs for the day of “no more death” (Rev. 21:4 NIV) more earnestly than you. No one is more ready for every expression of sin’s violation to be replaced with the fullness of the new creation order than you.
Perhaps some of your tears outside of Lazarus’s tomb were offered knowing he’d have to go through the whole rotten dying process again—such is your hatred of death; yet such is your love for us.
Today I rest my sobered and saddened heart on your shoulder and on the hope of being able to call you “the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). Jesus, your death on the cross secured the death of death itself—the last enemy (1 Cor. 15:26). And because of your resurrection, we sing in advance of our resurrection, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55).
How we praise you! How we exalt you! How we rest our heavy hearts in your loving hands. You are working for the good in all things for those who love you; and we love you only because you first loved us, and gave yourself for us on the cross. So very Amen we pray, with thanksgiving, in your grave-robbing name.