Sunday, January 15, 2012

John 11:35

Jesus wept.

Key Observation:
Jesus, God in the flesh, weeps as we weep.

I found that I could not leave John 11 without commenting at length on the shortest verse in the Bible: Jesus wept. I turn weepy many times throughout the day; there is so much in our world that is wrong. I am convinced that as a human being, limited as I am in knowledge, that I can know only a part of the evil that goes on each day, a fact that I am thankful for. I know enough to find myself sorrowful anyway.

Imagine God’s feelings for the whole world. Does He not know what is happening throughout the world? He sees all the suffering, hears the cries of those who hurt and grieve. What a comfort it is to know that He can grieve along with me. The Scripture says that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that he should turn from his ways and live? (This idea is repeated 3 times in similar refrains in Ezekiel 3, 18, and 33)I love the idea of a God who cares for me, who weeps when I weep, who sees the sorrow better and more deeply than I ever could.

The Old Testament says: Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. Philippians Two tells us that Jesus made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, and made in human likeness. Hebrews tells us that Jesus was “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” How precious it is to me to know that my Lord is of like passions to me—He understands at all points the grief and sorrow which is so much a part of being human.

I understand that God is our Creator, that He has established and formed us, that He knows how we are made. But I take great satisfaction in knowing that God became Man, and that becoming Man, He has like passions, and feels like I feel. As I close this devotion, I can think of the writer of “It is Well With My Soul”, Horatio Spafford, first losing a young son, his fortune in the Chicago fire, and his four daughters on a sea voyage. To find the peace of God in such a circumstance is expected; I know the Lord and I know His peace. But to know that the Lord sorrows with me in my loss is a gift greater than anything I ever expected. I can come to Him at such times, and bow my head before Him, and know that He understands and loves me, and also grieves with me.

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
But Lord, 'tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul.
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Horatio Spafford

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