Blog: What made Jesus cry (09/17/21)
by Rev. Clark G. Armstrong
Marshall Church of the Nazarene
The Weeping Jesus Statue is a statue of Jesus crucified in Mumbai (Bombay) who actually weeps over the face of Jesus due to a combination of the elevation, humidity and temperature of where he is. is located. Thinking of this statue, I was led to study the times when Jesus wept, as noted in the scriptures. I have found on three main occasions that it was specifically said that Jesus wept or wept. There are two other times the word cry is used for him rather in the sense of shouting. There is also a time when it is said that he was overwhelmed or filled with grief. Let’s look at the three times Jesus cried and ask ourselves “What made Jesus cry?” The first time he cried makes us wonder why he cried on a particular day? This is the day or the period when his friend Lazarus died. It was…
I. As a result of her grief at the loss of her friend Lazarus. John 11:35 simply says that “Jesus wept.” It is the shortest verse in the Bible. But that could make a five point sermon: 1. It showed he was human. 2. He identified with us in every way. 3. He knew the pain of grief. 4. He was not afraid to show his emotions. 5. He loved so deeply. The second passage on Jesus’ tears makes us wonder why he cried every day? It has to do with His intercessory life. He is crying…
II. As part of his daily prayers and petitions to his father. Hebrews 5: 7 says, “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth he offered prayers and supplications with fervent cries and tears to him who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his respectful submission. ” There are three distinct things about Jesus’ prayers that are mentioned here: they were daily, fervent, and with reverent submission. There are four types of prayer: contemplative prayer, conversational prayers, conventional prayers, and cries (cry out to God in prayer). It is this last type that is referred to in this passage. Jesus probably offered these four prayers, but we are told that he offered sincere and sincere prayers each day “with fervent cries and tears”. It is in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26: 36-46) that Scripture says he was filled with sorrow. One question that remains for us to ask is “In what sense can we say that he has been heard when his request has not been fulfilled?” It is in the sense that God helped him get through his troubles (the cross event) rather than get him out of it (this). The third thing that made Jesus cry makes us ask, “Why did he cry on the happiest day?” He is linked to the events of Palm Sunday when he is said to have walked to a gazebo above the city and cried. Why did he cry at that time when the whole city declared him to be the Anointed of God and their future King?
III. For the lost who will not receive him as their lord and king despite his sacrificial death for them. This account is found in Luke 19: 37-44. The verse that says he cried or cried is verse 41. There are actually three stories in Luke 19. It begins with the account of Zacchaeus the tax collector which ends by saying (10), “For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost. The second is the parable of ten minas. It is like the parable of the talents where one servant receives ten, another five, and another two or one. But in this parable, the nobleman leaves to receive a kingdom and ten servants each have a mine to manage during his absence. The kingdom’s subjects don’t want him to be king when he gets there, but he ends up being king there anyway.
A key idea here is the idea of a kingdom and the king. The third story is this: Jesus comes to Jerusalem as king (Palm Sunday). It ends with verses 37-40. The key verses are 38 & 40:38 “Blessed be the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Similar to what the angels said at the time of Jesus’ birth.) 40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they are silent, the stones will cry out. Then comes the passage where Jesus weeps over the city of Jerusalem (verses 41-44). He weeps over the Jewish people. He cries for all those who will not accept his sacrificial atoning death on the cross of Calvary for our salvation (those who will not recognize him as king in their lives). He weeps as he prophesied the things that were to happen when the Roman Emperor Titus would come in AD 70 with his legions and destroy the city and the temple, and its inhabitants would be scattered as a result of God’s judgment. Isaiah 53: 3 (KJV) describes him as a sorrowful man accustomed to sorrow [pain]. He ends this chapter by saying (verse 12b) “For he bore the sins of many and interceded for the transgressors”.
The last act of Jesus’ earthly life is recorded in Mark 15:37 where it is said: “With a loud cry Jesus breathed his last. It is undeniable that people who love deeply often cry. People who love deeply feel the pain of loss. People who love deeply pray earnestly. People who love deeply often mourn their loved ones and the world God loves so much. You cannot love deeply without crying. It’s inevitable.