When Mary spoke with Jesus outside the village, He was deeply troubled and disturbed. The Greek word translated “troubled” or “agitated” in John 11:33 indicates indignation.
But what was Jesus angry about?
Some have suggested that He was angry at the unbelief of Mary, Martha, and the Jews who mourned Lazarus’ death.
Maybe. But I find this difficult to believe.
Rather, I tend to think that Jesus was angry at death and what it does to His beloved. How it robs them of those whom they cherish. How it inflicts them with the unspeakable agonies of grief. How it thwarts love by taking those who are beloved.
The tears of Jesus show us a God who is sensitive to our sorrows. Even though He knew He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, He experienced the moment. Knowing that His soon-coming miracle would dry every eye, He wept nonetheless. He was deeply touched by the sorrow that afflicted Mary, Martha, and the whole village.
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.
Jesus, as it were, mingled His holy tears with theirs. Indeed, the Lord is able to “wipe away every tear” from our eyes because He Himself knows how to weep.
We read about the tears of Jesus three times in the New Testament:
His tears of sorrow over Jerusalem.
His tears of suffering in the garden.
His tears of sympathy in Bethany.
Behold the tears of Christ. They teach us that our Lord is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. They teach us that He is not unmoved by our sorrow and suffering.
The Son of God wept aloud over the holy city, but He sobbed silently before the tomb of His friend.
These were the perfect tears of a perfect Man.
Know this: Jesus didn’t relinquish His perfect humanity when He ascended far above the heavens. He still weeps with us today, for He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Consequently, He feels it when every heart burns, bleeds, or bends. He is a friend who “loves at all times.” Christ saves as the Son of God, but He feels as the Son of man. So in your hour of grief, remember: your Lord is with you and feels for you.
As Thomas Moore once put it, “Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.”
Jesus is heaven personified.
Adapted from God’s Favorite Place on Earth