Links Daily Devotional

Jesus, Our Everything

Jesus wept.  (John 11:35, ESV)

“Is this a good time to talk?” I asked my long time golf instructor, for we had not talked in a while. “It’s an amazing time,” he replied. “I’m about to go into the oncologist’s office.”

No!

That was shocking timing. After this short conversation, I wept, expressing much more emotion than I expected. The potential loss of this relationship welled up to the surface, and I was left pondering how much of a gift he has been in my life—his patience meeting my stubbornness, his kindness with my frustrations, and his faith when I felt hopeless. Of course, like all of us, he has flaws, but they seemed to fade into grace at a time like this.

Today’s little verse is one of the most astounding in the Bible. The International Standard Version translates it “Jesus burst into tears,” and the Aramaic Bible in Plain English says, “And the tears of Yeshua were coming.” These tears were real tears, and they were sinless, perfect tears (Hebrews 4:15).

What does a perfect tear look like? I can find none in myself. I find the stain, sometimes small but always ruinous, of selfishness, anger, self-pity, and even glory-seeking in all my tears of pain and grief. The idea of weeping coming from a being that is fully human and yet fully God is completely puzzling to my finite and sinful heart.

Perhaps the confusion gets a little clearer when we see Jesus’ tears in terms of his relationship with us. The complete self-sufficiency of God enables him, and him only, to love us selflessly. This sobbing of our Savior came in part from a love for Lazarus and his friends. John 11:36 explains: “So the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’” His personal love often washes over us in the fellowship of tears, and the beauty of the cross strikes us in the fellowship of pain.

Jesus, our King, comes down from his throne and cries with and for his people, whom he loves. He cries in their waiting, comforting and strengthening them in expectation of their future and final deliverance from pain and death.

Jesus, as our High Priest, knows the intensity of our weakness. We too, like the disciples, cannot stay awake in the hour of need—we slip into sleepy despair so easily. Yet he answers our cries of misery with perfect empathy. And, most happily, Jesus cries the perfect tears we needed to cry, for our own pain and for others, fulfilling the law of holiness for us. Even our weeping demanded his atoning blood.

Jesus, our Prophet, announces with rivers on his face that God cares for us. In this moment and every other moment, Jesus does his Father’s will, embodying the Word of God through this burst into tears. Jesus was glorifying the Father in this moment, just like the next moment when he raised Lazarus from the dead, and like the preceding moment when he let Lazarus die. We simply cannot reach the depth of meaning of the glory of God, but we are certain that these tears had and have depth of meaning for us now.

Tears can well up on a tee box or with a hug, while walking in the woods or walking out-of-bounds. In all these, know that as they roll down your face, you get to cry with Jesus, cheek to cheek.

Isabelle Beisiegel
April 23, 2015
Copyright 2015 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.