Jesus Wept

         A cousin of mine died ten years ago today in a car accident. She was studying to be a teacher at the time and through the work and dedication of my aunt a scholarship fund was established at the school she attended to help others studying to be teachers in honor of her memory. I think this is a wonderful way to honor someone, though I think if such an occurrence happened to me (the untimely death of a child) the grief would swallow me up. Death is just so sad.
         Today as I was thinking about my cousin I was reminded of the raising of Lazarus. When Jesus visited the tomb of His friend, He wept (Jn. 11:35). Given that Jesus was about to perform the stupendous miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead (this would soon result in the chief priests conspiring to kill Lazarus because his resurrection resulted in many Jews trusting in their Messiah. There is a lot of humor (of the ironic variety) in this idea: Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and the result was people wanted to kill him (John 12:9-11)), I have heard some attempts at explanation over Jesus’ grief. The most common thing I’ve heard is that He wept over the unbelief of those with Mary. I don’t think this is right.
         When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along  with her also
weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.
         “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
         “Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
          Jesus wept.
Even though Jesus knew the miracle (resurrection!) He was about to perform He wept because death is sad. All Christians live in the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ which ensures our own resurrection. This means that we should not mourn like those who do not have this blessed assurance, the Lord! But it doesn’t mean we do not mourn. Death is the ultimate consequence of sin and is the most unnatural thing in all of God’s creation. We weren’t made to die, we die because we disobeyed. Sin is terrible and death is terrible. My cousin died (I believe she died in the Lord) very young. I know of two elderly men who died this week (also in the Lord) and that is just as sad. Death is the worst! But in light of Jesus’ resurrection it is delightful that God has given us a taunt for death, not for now, but for the future:
         When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality,
          then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
          “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
          “O death, where is your victory?
            O death, where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:54-55)
In order to participate in throwing shade at death we must answer this question in the affirmative:
          Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me,
          though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall
          never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

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