Why did Yeshua weep?

My mother died this summer. Never in my life have I felt the emotional and physical pain that I have constantly carried for the last 6 months. All those meaning of life questions go through my mind. I’m still hoping that I will wake up from a bad dream. But Yah brought a Bible story to my mind that I just couldn’t shake. He kept reminding me of the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead. I had to take the time to copy and study it for myself. What important truth was He trying to show me? The story of Lazarus is found in John 11.

Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Yeshua heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. Now Yeshua loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? Yeshua answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Yeshua spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Yeshua unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. Then when Yeshua came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already. Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Yeshua was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Yeshua, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Yeshua saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee. As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him. Now Yeshua was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him. The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there. Then when Mary was come where Yeshua was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Yeshua therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Yeshua wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? Yeshua therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Yeshua said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Yeshua saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Yeshua lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Yeshua saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
(Joh 11:1-44)

Why did Yeshua weep?

The thing that really stuck out to me in this story was the fact that Yeshua wept. Why would he do that? He knew Lazarus was sick and purposely stayed away. He knew Lazarus would be raised from the dead. He knew that even if Lazarus wasn’t raised from the dead, he would spend eternity with the Father. If he knew everything was going to work out, and in a very short time, why would he weep?

I asked my husband his thoughts on the matter. He wondered if Yeshua was grieving over the fact that Lazarus was about to be pulled from eternal glory back to this sinful place we call earth. That, in my mind, is a completely legitimate reason to grieve. It has also helped reassure me as I miss my mother terribly. She is doing fine in whatever spirit state she is in right now, whether it be sleeping or already in His presence. I have no worries about her. Why would she want to come back here, to a hurting body and a messed up world? The sorrow we feel in death is ours. We miss them. We grieve that we cannot share life with them any longer. But, if they came to Yeshua in repentance for salvation, they are fine. My mom is fine. I’ll see her again one day. Lazarus would have been just fine if Yeshua had not risen him from the dead. Perhaps it was an adjustment for Lazarus to come back to this earthly existence. Kind of interesting to ponder. We do know that Yeshua planned to raise Lazarus from the dead specifically to bring glory to the Father.

So why did he weep?

John 11:35 reads, “Yeshua wept,” only moments before he called Lazarus out of the tomb. Yeshua was not grieving as we grieve because he knows the end from the beginning. He didn’t offer comforting sentiments either. He wept. In the Greek, this means to actually shed tears.

And this is where I discovered the beauty in this event. Yeshua is outside of time and understands the end from the beginning. He knows that our believing loved ones are doing just fine, though we miss them terribly. Yet, in all that, He chooses to join us in our deep sorrow and weep with us. I am so deeply comforted to know that my Savior not only died in my place and rose again, but chooses to sit with me in my grief with no judgment or rushing. He doesn’t try to quiet me. He doesn’t yell at me for having questions or feeling angry sometimes. He weeps with me.

How can I do the same?

Death is no stranger. We will all travel down this road of grief. We will all feel the deep pain of losing someone close to us. How can we help each other?

We need to learn to sit with each other in grief. We need to throw out the platitudes and the casseroles and learn to weep with each other. I met a young woman recently who is also traveling this road of grief. We shared memories. We cried. We talked about our frustration and the things we wished we had done differently. It was such a comfort to simply grieve together with no judgment or attempt to make each other feel better. Grief is ugly and raw and painful. We can’t talk it away. We have to learn to carry on with it. But it sure is a balm to know that Yeshua will just weep with us. We can physically encourage others by learning to weep with them, too.

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