Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of February 4, 2007

John 11:35 Jesus wept.

We are indoctrinated in our society to believe that real men don’t cry. If you look up that phrase on the Internet you will find a number a poems and songs dealing with real men not crying. So either the Lord was not a “real man” or our culture is wrong because Jesus wept. I believe our culture is wrong and that the Lord was not only God, but He was a “real man.”

The Lord wept on at least three occasions. He wept in Luke 19:41 because of the hardheartedness of the nation of Israel toward Him. He wept because He knew that their day of judgment was coming. According to Hebrews 5:7 he wept in the Garden of Gethsemane as he considered what lay before Him. And he wept at the tomb of his friend Lazarus who had died.

Why did the Lord weep at the tomb? Some think he wept because of the lack of confidence that his friends had in Him. Mary and Martha knew that he loved them and Lazarus. Yet he wasn’t acting like it as far as they were concerned. Why hadn’t He come immediately when they first sent for Him? They knew that He could have kept Lazarus from dying, but they never expected Him to raise Lazarus from the dead. I often wonder if the Lord weeps because of our lack of confidence in His ability to get it right.

Others think that the Lord wept because he sympathized with the feelings of Mary and Martha. He knew they were grieving and he was grieving with them. The writer of Hebrews tells us that the Lord is touched by the feeling of our infirmities. So even though He is going to wipe away all tears from our eyes in heaven, He understands the heartaches and tears of this life because He was a real man.

I sometimes wonder if he wept because he knew that when Lazarus was raised from the dead, he was going to be rejected and suffer persecution. I believe Lazarus was being comforted on the other side of the grave in paradise (Luke 16:25). While this may be a different Lazarus in Luke 16, yet both Lazarus’ would have gone to the place of comfort since both were believers in the Lord Jesus. Yet when the John 11 Lazarus was raised from the dead and was brought back from paradise, the chief priests sought to kill him because people were trusting the Lord because of him.

The Lord may also have wept because he knew that he too was facing a tomb. He was certainly the man of sorrows that was rejected and acquainted with grief that Isaiah tells us about in Isaiah 53:3. And He may have been weeping because of the sorrows that had come into the world because of sin.

Most of us believe that the Lord is a sympathizing Savior because Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus. It gives us courage when life doesn’t make sense just as it didn’t make sense to Mary and Martha. We often look at circumstances instead of at the Lord. The Lord may be asking us to wait when we feel we need Him now. It is in the wait that we often get discouraged. But it is because of the wait that we may see the Lord do greater things than we expected.

Jesus wept. So real men do weep. And the Lord does care even when we get discouraged because He hasn’t come running when we send for Him. He is worth trusting. If we are unsaved we need to trust Him to be the sacrifice for our sins. If we are saved, we need to trust our circumstances to Him even when those circumstances don’t make sense.

Bruce Collins

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