Daily Devotional for March 18
March 18 John 11:28-44
Our Weeping Lord
Consider this interesting phenomenon: Jesus wept so profusely
at the death of his friend Lazarus that onlookers remarked,
"See how Jesus loved him!" Yet only moments later, Jesus
raised Lazarus from the dead. One would think that his message
to Mary, Martha, and the mourners would be, "OK folks, don't
cry! God's going to raise Lazarus in just a few minutes! Hang
on just a moment and you'll see!" Yet this was not Jesus'
message at all. Instead he wept. We wonder why.
Perhaps Jesus felt such empathy for Mary and Martha that he
wept for their sorrow. Perhaps, as the onlookers assumed, the
death of his friend moved him to tears. Just as likely, however,
and just as consistent with the actions of Jesus recorded in
other parts of the Bible, he was weeping over all the sin, death,
and corruption that he saw in the world.
The central message of today's passage, therefore, is this: God
weeps with us in the midst of our need. God weeps for the
systemic sins of society, for the greed, the pollution, the child
abuse, the sexual abuse, and all the other things that weaken
our families and corrupt our planet. God weeps as well for
the personal pain in each of our lives.
The Bible says that Jesus is our high priest, the one who has
endured everything we endure on earth, yet without sin. So
Jesus can empathize and weep with us even though he knows
the outcome will renew us and glorify God - just as it did
in the case of Lazarus.
Loving God, let me not allow grief or pain to
drive me from you, but help me to know that you weep
with me in my pain and work within my grief for my
good and your greater glory. Amen.
From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle
Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C