Jesus wept. Peter wept. Mary wept.
Overwhelmed by love. Devastated by shame. Consumed with mourning.
From Genesis to Revelation, there is a whole lot of crying in the Bible for a whole lot of different reasons. People cry out to the Lord in despair and pain. God is beseeched amid the fallen world’s groaning chaos.
But blessedly, if only occasionally, like our Lord we cry to express our love.
Jesus dearly loved His friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus. As Jesus reacted to the sadness of the two sisters at the death of their brother (Luke 11), we see the overwhelming love Jesus feels for all mankind as we deal daily with our down-fallenness. Jesus knows what He is about to do – raise Lazarus from the grave. He also knows what this act sets in motion – the frenzied ire of the priests who within days will insist that Jesus be crucified by the Romans. Jesus also knows why He is going to the cross – for the redemption of mankind from sin, the defeat of eternal death, the rekindling of our fellowship with our Creator, and our adoption into the Kingdom of God. Jesus weeps for all of us, because He loves all of us.
Peter wept because He had blown it. He had blown it big. He loved Jesus, but hated himself when his fear of the Sanhedrin (Matthew 26:57-75) surpassed his customary open bravado of identifying Jesus as the Messiah Christ, the Son of God. In his weakness, Peter’s witness wobbled; his shame thundered in devastating cries.
Mary loved her son Jesus. She knew from the angels before His birth that He was the glorious savior of mankind. Yet she mourned His death on the cross and wept at His grave; convinced of her loss, consumed in her sadness and undoubtedly confused by His death and disappearance. How much faith do we really have that Jesus is our “all in all”? Too often, not enough.
The Bible contains roughly 400 references to all manner of weeping, wailing, crying and crying out. It is obviously man’s natural reaction to great desperation and frustration. Jesus presents a nearly unique dynamic of weeping as a sign of love. (We also see it in Genesis 43:30, where Joseph weeps – albeit privately – at the sight of his beloved brother Benjamin.)
We can cry and curse, or we can weep for joy. We can lament humanity, or glorify God by crying out in great praise.
Never forget that weeping can be a superior, though too rare, expression of love.
So I ask you … what are you crying about?
Walters (firstname.lastname@example.org) notices that crying can be evidence of either a soft heart or a hard head.