Jesus wept with Mary

Why Did Jesus Weep At Mary’s Sorrow?

Jesus wept as reported in John 11:32-35 when Mary said to Him, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died,” for several reasons that reflect both His humanity and His divine nature.

1. Empathy and Compassion

Jesus Wept

Because Jesus had a close relationship with Mary, He was deeply moved by her grief and the sorrow of those around her including her sister, Martha.

His tears reflected His profound empathy and compassion for their pain.

Despite knowing that He would soon raise Lazarus from the dead, Jesus shared in the sorrow of His friends and the mourners.

This moment underscores Jesus’ ability to empathize with human suffering, showing that He genuinely cares about the emotional experiences of those He loves even if He knows that their pain is temporary.

2. Human Emotion

Jesus, being fully human as well as fully divine, experienced human emotions.

His weeping demonstrates His true humanity.

This moment reveals that Jesus was not detached or out of touch from human feelings but deeply connected to them.

It illustrates that feeling sorrow and expressing emotions are integral parts of the human experience, which even the Son of God did not shy away from.

3. The Reality of Death

Even though Jesus knew He would resurrect Lazarus, He was still affected by the reality and finality of death as it appeared to those around Him.

Death represents the consequence of sin in the world, and seeing its impact on His loved ones would naturally evoke a strong emotional response.

Jesus’ tears can be seen as a reaction to the broader implications of death and suffering in the fallen world.

The reality of death is a profound and multifaceted concept, particularly in the context of Jesus’ ministry and mission. Jesus’ reaction to Lazarus’ death encapsulates a deeper understanding of the human experience of death and its theological implications.

Human Suffering and Loss

Jesus’ weeping reflects His intimate understanding of human suffering and the pain associated with death.

Death is an experience that all humans face, and it brings with it a sense of loss, finality, and often, a profound emotional impact.

By weeping, Jesus demonstrates His deep empathy for those who mourn, showing that He is not distant or indifferent to the anguish that death brings.

Consequence of Sin

From a theological perspective, death is seen as a consequence of sin.

According to Christian doctrine, death entered the world through the sin of Adam and Eve (Romans 5:12).

It represents the ultimate separation from God, the source of life.

Jesus’ tears can be interpreted as a reaction to the pervasive presence of sin and its devastating consequences on humanity.

His sorrow is not just for the death of Lazarus but for the broader reality of sin’s impact on the world.

Confrontation with Mortality

Even though Jesus is divine and has the power to overcome death, He also experiences the human confrontation with mortality.

His weeping at Lazarus’ tomb underscores the weight of this reality.

It highlights the tension between His divine mission to bring eternal life and the immediate, painful experience of physical death.

This moment is a poignant reminder that Jesus, though divine, fully embraced human mortality and the suffering that comes with it when He “humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:8)

Witness to the Power of Death

The event of Lazarus’ death and subsequent resurrection serves as a powerful witness to the reality and power of death.

Jesus’ weeping acknowledges the formidable force that death represents in the human experience.

It is not something trivial or to be taken lightly.

By weeping, Jesus validates the grief and sorrow that death causes, affirming that it is a significant and painful part of life.

Preparation for His Own Death

Jesus’ reaction to Lazarus’ death can also be seen as a foreshadowing of His own impending death.

The reality of death that He confronts at Lazarus’ tomb is something He will soon face personally.

His tears may reflect the anticipation of His own suffering and the weight of bearing the sins of the world.

This moment of weeping connects to His ultimate sacrifice, where He will conquer death through His resurrection, but not without first experiencing its full impact.

4. Demonstration of His Love

By weeping, Jesus showed His profound love for Lazarus, Mary, and Martha.

His tears were a testament to His deep personal connections and His capacity to love deeply.

This act of weeping would have provided comfort and shown the depth of His affection for His friends, reinforcing His identity as someone who deeply cares for individuals.

5. Expression of His Mission

Jesus’ weeping also highlighted the tension between His mission to defeat death and the immediate sorrow it caused.

His emotional response underscored the necessity of His mission to overcome sin and death, pointing to the ultimate victory He would achieve through His own death and resurrection.

When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews 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.

This passage shows the multifaceted nature of Jesus’ response, combining His empathy, human emotion, recognition of death’s reality, love for His friends, and the purpose of His divine mission.

Jesus wept because He was deeply moved by the sorrow of Mary and the other mourners, demonstrating His empathy, humanity, love, and the serious nature of His mission to conquer death and sin.