I want to get this out of the way because it’s what you’re all thinking. In ancient Greek, that’s not actually the shortest verse of the Bible, just many of the English translations. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way…
Jesus spends most of John 11 speaking to His disciples about Lazarus and his illness, eventually having to spell out to them that He KNOWS that Lazarus has died and that He’s going to resurrect him. Jesus will be returning to a hostile place even though an attempt was recently made on His life. The explicit reason was to raise Lazarus from the dead so that the disciples will believe He is the Son of God.
So when they arrive, it’s no surprise that Lazarus is, in fact, dead. It is also no surprise that his sisters are, in fact, sad about this. And of course they are sure that Jesus would have prevented His death had He not had to flee for safety. So why in all of this certainty did Jesus weep?
Because regardless, emotions are emotions. Intensity is intensity. Mary begins to weep and Jesus cannot control His emotions either, not because He knows the outcome, but because He knows the current setting. He loves Mary, and cares for her immediate situation and grief. He could see the depth of her love for her brother and how this grief affected her and even though He knew Lazarus’ resurrection was quickly forthcoming, that did not effect the immediacy of her suffering.
Christ has ascended now. To Him one thousand years is a day, and a day one thousand years. But rest assured that even though He knows the outcome and resolutions to your daily issues, He cares about your immediate suffering. He grieves when you grieve, and weeps when you weep. If He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, then that same Christ that cried with Mary cries with you. And when you’re finally able to rise from the ashes of affliction into joy, He will rejoice with you as well.
This week I pray that anytime you are suffering and grieving you realize that we have a Savior who cares enough to weep, even when He knows how the story ends.