Summary: An attempt to show how Christ can identify with us in time of need. He took our sins and sorrows and made them his very own.
Jesus Wept! Why?
As we look to the word of God for comfort and instruction, I want to turn your attention to the shortest
and one of the most beautiful verses in the Bible. “Jesus wept” ( John 11:35). Why those tears on the face of one who is the resurrection and the life and who has all power in heaven and on earth? Here was Jesus, in the very act of raising a man from the grave, and yet we read that he wept. Why? As we look for the answer I believe we will discover something of the greatness and the glory of our Christian faith.
( At any point in this message you may wish to add some personal remarks about the person for whom the funeral is being conducted).
First of all, I believe Jesus wept in true sorrow and sympathy. These were genuine tears, I'm sure of that. He sorrowed with those who suffered. He understood what they were going through and the questions in their minds. Verse 36 reads, “Then said the Jews, behold how he loved him,” referring to Christ's love for Lazarus. The hymn writer asked, “Does Jesus care when I've said goodbye to the dearest on earth to me. And my sad heart aches, till it nearly breaks, is it ought to him, does he see?” And the answer comes, “O yes he cares, I know he cares, his heart is touched by my grief. When my days are weary, the long nights dreary, I know my Savior cares.”
When I see Jesus weeping at the grave of Lazarus, I know he is not a far off Savior who looks upon our earthly trials with cold indifference. But rather, I see one who came to this earth to die that we might live. He faced the judgement we deserve in order to bring us the forgiveness we do not deserve.
And speaking of tears, sometimes we try to hide them from others. But no, we should never be afraid or ashamed of honest tears. They can be a gift from God to relieve the pressures that build up inside. Tears can speak for you when you cannot find words. Tears say how deeply you feel and how much you care for others. God sees through your tears to the pain and sorrow of your heart. Your tears are precious to him. So today, in complete confidence, you can trust such a God and such a Savior. “You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal concern”(1 Peter 5:7 Phillips).
Why did Jesus weep? In this passage of Scripture from John 11 we notice that Jesus wept in indignation, even anger. Verse 33 can be translated, “Jesus groaned in his spirit and was troubled.” The Greek words here may be translated, “Jesus burned with indignation within himself.” Why was this so? Why was he so deeply troubled in spirit? The answer -- because death is not our friend. God is not the author of death. The Bible teaches, “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death”( 1 Cor.15:26).
But there's another kind of death which Christ detests with an even greater hatred. – souls dead in trespasses and sins.“Sin entered this world and death through sin and so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned” ( Romans 5: 12). The sting of death is sin and Christ came to destroy sin and death through his own vicarious death and glorious resurrection. Is it not true we are all guilty of this sin because of our disobedience. But thank God, “The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus can set us free from the law of sin and death”( Romans 8:20). Jesus said, “I am the living one; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of hell and death” ( Rev.1:18).
The heart of Christ burns with indignation against this spiritual death which afflicts mankind. And no wonder, because directly or indirectly, sin is the cause of all the unhappiness, selfish greed, broken hearts and homes in our world today. And Christ hates those things that shrivel and pervert and damn the soul. May God grant that we shall have a holy hatred of sin, even as Christ does.
If you feel a concern over all the injustice and brokenness in our world today, you can be sure that the Lord has an even greater concern. And wonder of wonders, He has made provision for our deliverance. People say that God cannot be a God of love because if he looked down upon this earth, his heart would break. We can point to the cross and agree that God's heart did break. Christ not only tasted death for us, he conquered death. The empty tomb proves he lives forevermore! Sin and death have met their master. An empty cross and an empty tomb mean for us a full salvation.“Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”