John 11:35 is known for being the shortest verse in the Bible. Depending on the translation you are reading, it contains only two or three words: Jesus wept...or Then Jesus wept.
To weep means to cry, and Jesus cried when he went to the tomb of his friend Lazarus, who had died. Because he was the Son of God, Jesus knew that Lazarus was going to die, but he also know that he was going to bring Lazarus back to life. He knew the end of the story was a happy one.
But knowing the future did not stop Jesus from feeling sad. Even having the power to bring his friend back to life did not stop his tears. No...Jesus wept.
The truth is that Jesus delayed going to see Lazarus, knowing that he would die before he arrived. The truth is that Jesus did this to show his disciples that he, too, was going to come back to life after dying on the cross. The truth is that Lazarus was supposed to die so that Jesus could bring him back to life so that those who saw it would believe that Jesus was who he said he was...the Messiah, the Son of God.
The truth is the truth. It never changes. It doesn't depend on our feelings...and, as Jesus shows us, our feelings do not depend on it.
We can know that the end of our story is a happy one. We can be confident that Jesus died for our sake so that we can spend eternity with him in heaven. But the truth of that promise does not mean we will never feel sad. Bad things will happen. People will be mean to us. And we will lose friends to death, just like Jesus did.
And when we do...we can cry, just like Jesus did. We can allow ourselves to feel the hurt. And then, God will comfort us. He will remind us that one day, sadness will be wiped away forever...all because Jesus came to be like us, to cry with us, to feel the deepest pain imaginable.
Jesus wept so that we could never weep again.
I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.
Choose one of the following Psalms to read: Psalm 13, 40, 55, or 61
What difficult emotion(s) is the author of your Psalm feeling: sadness, fear, hurt?
What comfort does the author find in sharing these emotions with God?
Create a picture of Jesus crying. You can use crayons, colored pencils, markers, paint, or anything else you have on hand.
Take a moment to pray about whatever you are feeling this week.