No doubt, Jesus could have repressed His tears. Most men do just that. But Jesus refused to be unnatural at any point of contact with humanity. It is natural to weep when we are in a season of sorrow and suffering. It is natural to let our tears flow from the fountain of personal pain. It is natural to cry out when the circumstances of life are closing in all around us. And it is as natural, and it is biblical to weep with those who weep. It is a source of great comfort to know that Jesus did not find it “weak” or “feeble” or “fragile” or “shameful” to show the depths of His human emotions. Remember, Jesus got tired, hungry and thirsty. He was just like us in every way . . . except without sin.
Ministry of tears
As a pastor, I have found that often this is the best ministry that you can provide for someone who is in pain. The ministry of tears reaches deeply into the hearts of man and ministers in ways that cannot be matched by words or deeds. And tears translate into every imaginable language. Because we are all made in the image of God, we all speak the language of tears when a word will simply not do. General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army in July 1865, knew this truth by way of personal experience.
Two Salvation Army officers set out to found a new work on behalf of the Salvation Army, only to meet with incredible failure and massive opposition. Frustrated and tired they appealed to the General to close the rescue mission and end the effort. General Booth sent back a telegram with only two words on it, “try tears!” They followed his advice and they witnessed a mighty revival.
Regardless of where this finds you today, you have a friend in Jesus who sticks closer than a brother and who is not afraid to weep with you. Remember, Jesus wept . . . and then He commanded, “Roll the stone away” and “Lazarus come out!” Jesus met His friends and followers in their deepest place of pain first, then He demonstrated that He was more than just a man. He was the incarnate God, who had power over all things, including both life and death.
So when you find yourself in a season of weeping, don’t forget that you weep in the best of company . . . because Jesus wept!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. Never forget that…Amen!
Tommy Boland is senior pastor of Cross Community Church in Deerfield Beach. He blogs regularly at tommyboland.com.