When Jesus saw his friends in tears, he could no longer control himself. He was “deeply moved in spirit and troubled” (v. 33). And when he saw the grave of Lazarus, his eyes filled with tears: “Jesus wept.”
For many people, this does not make sense. As some of the onlookers said, “If he cares so much, why didn’t this wonderworker keep Lazarus from dying?” We too wonder how Jesus could be overcome with grief at his friend’s death. After all, he was in complete control of the situation. He knew the outcome from the beginning. He came to change mourning to dancing and replace sadness with songs. Yet his body heaved with sobs and he shed tears.
No other story in the Bible shows so fully the mystery of the person of Jesus. We see his humanity in his tears and his divinity in his power over death.
Today we should think of the tears. Our Savior is no stranger to our pain. He himself has been tested in the school of suffering that we all must attend. His sympathy, says Hebrews 4:15 and 5:17, is warm and real.
Some hurts in this life are too deep for words. But the sorrow of earth has touched the God of heaven. And we see the love of God in the tears of Jesus.