Jesus Wept

During Lent we hear Gospel accounts of temptation, miracles, and eventually of the Passion of our Lord.  Hearing these year after year means we become very familiar with them,  Sometimes that familiarity causes us to simply go through the motions of our Lenten and Holy Week preparations without realizing the full significance of what actually happened.  I know that for myself, the Holy Week liturgies always center me and bring me face to face with the reality of what Jesus did for me and for us all.  But even before Holy Week, two little words never fail to remind me of the enormity of that sacrifice, 

“Jesus Wept.” (John 11:35)

Often we read the Gospel and are so focused on the gloriousness of Jesus being fully diving, that we forget He is also fully man.  In a mystery we may never understand, Jesus is God and man.  Not half God and half man; but wholly God and wholly man in every way except sin.  Just like all men, He faced temptation, He had friends and family, He ate, He drank, He slept.  He grew frustrated at times.  He felt joy.  And He most certainly felt pain.

When Lazarus dies, Jesus, being fully divine, know that this death is not the end.  And yet, His fully human nature is revealed by those two words, “Jesus wept.”  The loss of a friend, the grief He witnessed in Martha and Mary, it all affected Him in a very real and very human way.  And He wept.  

This seemingly normal reaction becomes more profound as we begin to realize that Jesus did not lose His humanness as His death approached.  Think of the Last Supper, the agony in the garden, and the crucifixion with the knowledge that He experienced all these things as man.  The betrayal of friends, feeling abandoned by God, suffering, and even death.  Jesus knows the pain we experience in this world because He Himself faced it.

Being fully human does not diminish His divinity but rather enhances it.  Jesus is God.  And God is not far off, distant, or unconcerned with us here on earth,  No. Our God is so loving that He sent His only Son to us as a man to show us the way.  To let us know that there will be pain and suffering in this world but that it is not the end.  

So if we feel lost or alone, like no one else knows the pain we face, let us remember that Jesus knows our pain.  He experienced it in a very real, very human way,  And as we approach Holy Week, let those words ring in the back of our minds as we recall His sacrifice for us.  God became man in Jesus and as man He felt every bit of that sacrifice.  For us He came into this world.  He lived.  He loved.  He suffered.  He died.  He wept.  

photo: “Jesus Wept” – James Tissot; Brooklyn Museum

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6 thoughts on “Jesus Wept

  1. SR April 11, 2014 at 5:02 pm Reply

    And all that you have stated here, is what keeps me going. Great post and enjoyed reading it very much. I think too often we reflect on the “divinity” of Jesus and forget the “humanity.” For me at times when I do this, it makes Him seem so far away. When I picture Him walking with me through life as a man, He feels so near. Make sense? God Bless, SR

  2. reinkat April 13, 2014 at 1:32 am Reply

    I have been saying the rosary daily during Lent, and it has helped me see Jesus as human as well, through the Sorrowful Mysteries, and meditating on His fear, physical pain, and the humiliation that he went through.
    Another aid to my thinking about this has been the movie “Passion of the Christ”. Not only was the suffering vivid (and a more than a bit overdone and hard to watch) but it also made Mary seem like a real human being to me. She had been kind of a vague, flowery figure to me previously, but this movie brought her alive for me.

    • rosesnearrunningwaters April 13, 2014 at 8:55 am Reply

      I agree Reinkat. The daily Rosary definitely helps connect us more to Christ. And I thought that same about the Passion. Very hard to watch but it really sticks with you and makes you realize what our Lord went through. Mary too. Thanks for reading, God Bless

  3. cttbbelliott April 13, 2014 at 6:23 pm Reply

    As a born again Christian and one who attends non-denominational church I do not participate in the Rosary prayers and such. It’s so hard to think about how Jesus suffered here on Earth and was not even believed by so many regardless of his miracles for those in need. He has given me miracles that still make my heart thump again and again.

  4. rosesnearrunningwaters April 13, 2014 at 6:39 pm Reply

    I agree it is hard to think of His sufferings but the wondrous love behind it all is so beautiful and miraculous indeed. Thanks for reading and God Bless!

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