“Jesus wept.” John 11:35, NASU
Annually our church leadership takes a retreat, or at least that is the common name given to a day or so away from it all, to be together, seek the Lord, and receive inspiration for the coming year of challenges, followed by victories both in the natural and spiritual, as we so pray.
This year the eight staff members and 25 of the full count of 70 volunteers leaders – ones having care and responsibility over areas of the church, including the children’s ministries, worship teams, ushers and parking lot attendees – out of a church size numbering 250-300 on most Sundays – were able to make the car journey for the 3-day gathering.
My good wife Laurie and I left our home over 3 hours away early in the morning, to take our time, stop at whatever was of interest along the way, off the beaten path, and arrive at the scheduled time. We enjoy doing that when able.
At the first gathering of the planned 7 sessions of meetings, our pastor gave each an assignment, which also happens each year during this time. We were to select a Bible verse or two, and write an expository (explanation) consisting of 100-150 words, to then have handed to him on paper prior to the last meeting. He, in turn, would speak of as many writings as time permitted.
And thus, here is what the Lord gave me to share. It is more than the allowed 150 words, so I will “slim and trim” it down to the right size for my completed assignment to hand in. But here is the full version for you to read.
The shortest verse in all of Scripture, found in John 11:35, simply says, “Jesus wept.” Knowing the context of the words helps understand what was going on in the mind, heart and soul of the Only Son of God, Who became man as we are, in order to fulfill the requirement the holy, Almighty God, required to restore us to His family.
As John also records, “Now Jesus had not yet come into the village but was still in the place where Martha met Him. Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and consoling her, when they saw that Mary got up quickly and went out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, ” Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him!” John 11:30-36, NASU
What had been going on with Jesus prior to arriving at his friend’s Lazarus grave? What was He experiencing that caused Him to weep in public, something that is not common with most men, and in some societies even scorned, as if men don’t have this realm of emotion?
Outside of the 12 disciples whom He had drawn to Himself, and the additional women who came with the group as they traveled from city to city, little is known about Jesus’ (Yeshua’s) friends. But Lazarus was one. And his death brought heavy tears when Jesus arrived at the tomb.
I believe it was another way that God the Father was allowing those at that time, and us in our time of history, to see that yes indeed, this was not some fairy tale, some made-up “sounds good” story that we can gain inspiration from, but that this Man, this One Who had been born of Mary, just as every human has been since the days of Adam and Eve, was real, walked as we walk, experienced deep and understandable emotions as we do.
Thus, He could, and would, be the perfect One to be the Sacrificial Lamb, as the Jews then and now us, understand. For once a year a Passover lamb is required to be slain, acknowledging that only shed blood, as determined by the God of the Universe, will take away our sin. This Lamb had to be perfect, without spot or wrinkle. And Jesus, fully man and yet fully God, was the only one who could, and would, become our Sacrificial Lamb.
Jesus wept. He walked as we walk. He lived as we lived. He came to this earth, to our place of human habitation, to be that which we could never be, live the life needed to live, die the death needed to die, in order to save us from eternal damnation, separated from God the Father, so we could spend eternity with them.
For this, we give thanks as we understand more fully the great love our Lord and Savior has for each of us.
Now think on this and see what good things the Lord has in store for you and those around you.
Ahava and shalom,
Love For His People, Inc.
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Now Think On This #466 – in the year of our Lord 11.08.19 – “Jesus Wept”, Saturday, 5:15 am