Jesus Wept” John 11:35
Upon Hearing of the Death of Lazarus and Seeing Him in the Grave
Jesus had fled to the wilderness to pray and also get away from those Jewish leaders who had wished him harm since the day of his birth. Upon hearing that Lazarus was gravely ill, he came from the wilderness to help, but he was too late. Mary took him to the grave and upon seeing Lazarus, “Jesus wept.” If the story had stopped there it would have been of little import, but Jesus followed the tears with action. What did he do? He called upon his brother to come from the grave and be returned to life. This story is one of many that speak of Jesus’s ability to feed the masses, heal the sick, and speak for compassionate justice instead of the “eye for an eye” code of justice that existed before his birth. In fact, Jesus’ last words on the cross were, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Jesus used his life and time on earth to bring God’s love and justice to a world full of hate and injustice. Upon his death, he arose from the grave to leave a message of hope and rebirth to all by filling his disciples (apostles) with the Holy Spirit that would allow them to continue his work. These apostles’ carried the “Good News” of the gospel to all the corners of the world from his throne in Heaven next to the Father and Holy Spirit; I wonder how he is responding. I can only highlight a few from my own country and suppose what He is doing.
1836 – Refugees forced at gunpoint from their Georgia homes with only small pox infested blankets to keep warm die on a Trail of Tears. Jesus wept.
April, 1865 – A shot of hate fells the man who would bide the nation’s wounds “with malice toward none and charity for all.” Jesus wept.
December 29, 1890 – A frozen body lay in winter’s chill near Wounded Knee. Jesus wept.
April, 1919 Poppies grow among white tombstones in Flanders Field. Jesus wept.
1943-1945 Black smoke and ashes fills the air around a concentration camp in Poland. Jesus wept.
December 7, 1941 Dead soldiers fill the waters around Pearl Harbor. Jesus wept.
August, 1945 Two mushroom clouds fill the air with deadly horror in the skies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Jesus wept.
1968 Three peacemakers felled by hate in Dallas, Memphis and Los Angeles. Jesus wept.
1965-1975 Orange gas arises from rain forests along the Mekong Delta. Jesus wept.
1964 – Three young men working to get the vote for African-Americans in Mississippi brutally murdered. Jesus wept.
1956-1965 School girls die in church bombings, Medgar Evers gunned down in the driveway of his home, Mississippi burns as flaming crosses light up the sky illuminating black bodies hanging among the trees. Jesus wept.
1968 – Cities ablaze amid the cries of “burn baby burn.” Jesus wept.
September 11, 2001 Flaming planes piloted by hate destroy the World Trade Center and kill over 3,000 Americans. Jesus wept.
New Orleans, LA 2005 People die on roof tops and poorly maintained shelters. Jesus wept.
December 2012 – Innocents die in a barrage of fire during their school day. Jesus wept.
2013 – An Afghan girl is shot for wanting to read. Jesus wept.
2016 – Inner cities a virtual battleground. Jesus wept.
2016 – People praying for land and water rights bullied by corporate greed at Standing Rock. Jesus wept.
Jesus is crying for all as the humans – his highest level creation – face the edge of destruction. For those of us Christians who believe God and his Son Jesus set us up to live in a Garden of Eden so long as we obeyed certain laws of nature that protect sustainability we now implore you to return to the principles of love and compassion and first fill your own hearts so that the works of Jesus that followed the weeping will come to pass.