Thank God For Tears

Ok, here it is! I usually cry at the movies, during powerful portrayals on television, and while listening to some types of music. When together as a family either watching a film or show, they usually posture themselves towards me and check for tears. I don’t know why, but I love a powerful, personal story of triumph.

Jesus was a man who shed tears. Sure, He is one-hundred percent God, but He also was one-hundred percent man which made Him capable of human sympathy and sorrow.

What is so incredibly amazing is that the tears Jesus shed were not just for himself, but also for others. There are three documented situations in Scripture where Jesus expressed himself in sorrow. That, in reality, most likely brought Him to tears.

His personal sorrow over the death of His friend Lazarus. The disciples and other acquaintances even noticed the sincerity of His sorrow. John 11:35-36 expresses this truth. Jesus wept. So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him!”

He sympathized with Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus. He loved those three people and not only felt their pain, but His presence in their lives helped them through this heartbreak. His conscious awareness of the power of sin. His heart experienced great anguish over this reality, but also His heart ached over what evil was doing in the lives of people He loved.

As I reflect back to some of the moments, sometimes embarrassing, that brought about tears in my life, I wonder if they were used to motivate me or if these emotional moments immobilized me. Tears have the great potential to inspire us to action. When Jesus was brought to tears, the expression of His heart brought forth action.

First, following the death of Lazarus and His expressions of sorrow and sympathy, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. On another occasion, after witnessing the powerful effect of sin upon the lives of humans, Jesus gave Himself for all mankind in His sacrificial death on the cross. This one act forever eliminated the debt necessary for the redemption of man and paved the way for a pure relationship with God. His tears provoked action.

There are many approaching this Christmas season paralyzed by tears. The recent passing of a dear loved one, the loneliness of the season without a significant other, or the insufficiency of funds have created an atmosphere of dread instead of celebration.

Redirecting your focus this season to Jesus will help turn your sorrow into celebration, and feelings of defeat associated with sin into a life empowered with strength and courage.

Randall Duckett