I find it comforting that Jesus wept. But, why would he weep? Didn’t he know he was about to raise his friend Lazarus from the dead? Why would he weep when he knows resurrection is coming? Why would he grieve to the point of sweating drops of blood in the garden before his crucifixion? Crucifixion was coming, yes. But so was resurrection. Here’s the reason, and it’s not poetic or profound, but it’s true. He wept because he was sad. He was hurt. He was in grief. And grief hurts. Even Jesus.
When my good friend lost their dad, I was seeking to make my condolences and offer my presence as a fellow sufferer. From experience, I know there is nothing/not much you can or should say in those situations. Most of the time nobody wants to have Job’s friends or to be Job’s friends amidst grief, although their presence is better than not trying. The best thing to do is to say, “I’m so sorry,” and offer your presence. My friend was struggling with the unexpected loss and didn’t know what to do with the pain. I said the only thing I could think of to him. “Let it hurt.”
Jesus wept because he was sad. His friend died. And death stings. Yes, it’s been defeated by Jesus, but the Revelation 21 consummation of his victory hasn’t been fully realized. So, Jesus wept for his friend because grief hurts. He sweat drops of blood not just because he was going to the cross, but also for the same reason he wept over Jerusalem. Because sin hurts. He was dying for real people’s sins. And the wages of sin is death. And many don’t even realize it. His death. For their life.
Here’s what I want you to consider. And to cling tightly to amidst your pain. Jesus wept, and so do you, not just because of the pain of loss, but because of something far greater. Something much longer lasting. Love. Love is the reason you can “let it hurt.”
The Disney+ Marvel Comics show WandaVision is unique in its depth of meaning for a superhero production. The show’s plot is centered around loss and the pain of grief. The main character created a whole new world (in a sense) to live in because she couldn’t handle the loss of her loved one and didn’t know how to deal with it. And it’s a world where he was still alive. I’m telling you this because of a profound line her loved one said. It gave me comfort amidst still grieving seven years after the loss of my twin sister. He said this: “What is grief but not love persevering?”
Grief is intense and long lasting because the love you have (not had) for that person is intense and true and deep and meaningful and real.
If you would like to know more about grief and how to help someone through it, The Gospel Coalition recently posted “4 Ways to Love Someone Blindsided By Loss,” and it is one of the best articles I have read on the topic. I highly encourage you to read it.
“When the sorrows of this life threaten to overwhelm, his resurrection offers hope. But, perhaps even more powerfully, Jesus’s death reminds us of his intimate understanding and presence with us in suffering. Grieving people see their sorrows when they look at the cross.”