This morning I attended the funeral of someone I don’t really know. It was the mother of a good friend of mine. I did know of her and I’m sure she knew of me (you don’t live in Hohenwald without knowing each other on some level), but for the most part I don’t remember our paths crossing very much.
You don’t really expect to cry at the funeral of someone you don’t know, but I confess to shedding a few tears. It wasn’t the words of the preachers or the beauty of songs or the memories of others I have lost. It was the sight of my friend walking slowly behind the casket as they proceeded out of the chapel. He was pushing his Dad in a wheelchair and the pain was still lingering on both of their faces.
What is it about seeing a friend hurting that causes us to hurt as well? I’m not sure. But I’m sure that our Savior experienced it. When Lazarus died the Bible records the miraculous story of Jesus raising him from the dead, but before he raised him, it says this . . . When Jesus saw her [Lazarus’ sister Mary] weeping, and the Jews [Lazarus’ friends] who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked, “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
In my opinion the Jews misinterpreted Jesus’ tears. I don’t think they were for Lazarus. After all, in just a few minutes he was going to call him forth from the tomb! His tears were for Mary and the others who were hurting. When they hurt, he hurt. When they wept, he wept. That’s a powerful image of our Savior! Especially in light of the fact that he knew the final outcome would be victorious and joyful. Yet, he still took time to weep with his friends.
The same is true for my friend’s mother. The final outcome for her will also be victorious and joyful because the same Jesus who raised Lazarus from the dead will also raise her! But before he does I think he’ll stop to shed a few tears with my friend.