Summary: Things we cry about are significant to us. What do you cry about? Are they the things Jesus cries over?
“When Crying Makes All The Difference”
As you look back over your life, what were the things that made you cry? Death. Births. Extremely joyful events: marriage. Physical pain.
What do you cry about? What do you cry for? Cry over?
It was June 1, 1991 when an officer came into my home and told me and mother that my father had just been killed in auto accident. I wasn’t much of a crier really. In fact, I didn’t cry much at all about my father’s death. I cried once that day with a friend because I was scared. I guess I was scared about what living life would be like without my dad being there. FEAR was the immediate emotion, not sadness. I was scared for my mother living the rest of her life alone and I worried about her.
Later that summer, I went off to do a internship in Greenwood, then went off to seminary and made some friends and began going to the dollar theater downtown. It was in one of those movies that I discovered something changed. Something inside me changed and it scared me again. This time I was scared because I couldn’t control myself. The movie was sad, it was about a loss and somehow on the bigscreen, the loss tied into my loss, and I didn’t like that. I couldn’t stop crying. I was feeling something I never felt before: grief. All my life was lived without a death in the family, of someone at least I was close to, until this point. And now something happened inside me that needed changed. And how I handled it would make all the difference.
And so many of you’ve been there before too. You have experienced a loss, felt the void, experienced the pain, the pain of a broken heart. And it made you cry out; sometimes alone in the night, sometimes unexpectedly, sometimes all day long. I know. I’ve done it too. There were several more movies I went to; I mean for a buck, that’s pretty cheap entertainment! But seminary and the theater counter-balanced each other: one for the head, the other for the heart.
It is an interesting study to go through the NT and see all the places where crying was taking place. As I read the final book in the Bible I am comforted yet intrigued by the words of Rev 21:4 where it tells us there will be no more crying…I wonder, how will that happen? What will that be like? Will there be nothing to cause us to cry but we will still have the potential to do so, or what? What a wonderful change must be made for heaven to be a place where there are no more tears! It’s better than Johnson and Johnson’s baby shampoo! WOW!
Jesus speaks these words recorded by John in 16:20, “You will weep, but the world will rejoice.” Why? What difference is there between the disciples and the world? What did Jesus mean? How could everyone else be joyful while others were weeping? It is such a contrast. A scary one. Because it makes me think about what I laugh about and what I cry about and are they the same as what Jesus spoke about for his disciples or would it be equal with the world?
If the world rejoiced over the death of Jesus, and the disciples wept, what would I have done? What would you have done? The two are different. The things the world cries about and the things Jesus’ followers cry about. So I ask you again: “What do you cry about?”
A little girl who was late coming home for supper. Her mother made the expected irate parent’s demand to know where she had been.
The little girl replied that she had stopped to help Janie, whose bicycle was broken in a fall.
"But you don’t know anything about fixing bicycles," her mother responded.
"I know that," the girl said. "I just stopped to help her cry."
Turn to Mark 14. The first story is about Jesus’ anointing by a woman who poured expensive perfume on his feet. Then the disciples and Jesus celebrate the Passover, they sing a hymn and go to the Mount of Olives. While there, Jesus tells his disciples they all fall away and desert him. Peter speaks up and says (v29) “These guys might, but I never will!” And Jesus says back to Peter, “Before the rooster can crow two times for morning break, you will have denied me three times, Peter.”
They arrive at Gethsemane, and Jesus invites three to go farther with him to pray: Peter, James and John. They all fall asleep, Jesus is arrested and taken before the Sanhedrin, the religious governing board like the Jewish Ad Council. Peter is outside in the courtyard warming himself by the fire with others there.