The Significance of Christ’s Tears
Article by David Beshara based on
Sermon by Fr Mark Basily
After listening to Fr Mark’s sermon, it is incredible to see just how much meaning is contained within these two words “Jesus wept”. By sharing in our human emotion, Christ reveals an overarching message; He loves us. There is no greater love than what our God portrays to us, through Jesus Christ His Son. Even the Jews who were watching the miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection, when they saw Christ weeping, they said “see how much He loved him.” Fr Mark reveals to us five messages from this short verse that allows us to really grasp a glimpse of the depth of God’s tremendous love for us.
- Christ is sensitive to our tears
As humans we respond to people’s emotions and actions. When we see someone laugh, we laugh. Yawn, we yawn. So also when the bystanders were crying, Christ cried. This powerful verse, “Jesus wept”, reveals to us that God is moved with compassion when we shed tears. In the Song of Solomon, God reveals a characteristic about Himself that he cannot bear tears when He says to His beloved “Turn your eyes away from me, for they have overcome me” (Songs 6:5).So how does this apply to us? When we shed our tears before God, it hurts Him. If you reflect on your own personal life, when you shed tears in prayer, often you will find that a miracle takes place soon afterwards. So God teaches us that tears move His kind and compassionate heart, which subsequently portrays His Divine love towards us.
- Unlike other gods, God shares with us the human condition
The notion that our God shares with us the human struggles and tribulations, through our Lord Jesus Christ, is one to take comfort in. He is not a God who looks down from Heaven and watches our suffering as some sort of show but rather shares in our troubles. The proof of such is the incarnation. The Logos assumed humanity “and shared our nature, becoming like us in all things, yet without sin” (St Gregory of Nyssa). This ‘sharing in our nature’ gives us comfort that Christ understands our pains and allows God to become more approachable, through Jesus Christ. Through the incarnation, Christ sends us a divinely powerful message that He loves us.
- To bring comfort to the Mary and Martha
When the sisters saw that their God was moved they themselves were comforted. In turn we ourselves, as Christians, are called to bring comfort to others. We can learn this lesson practically from his grace Bishop Yostos. When he came down to Sydney, he asked all the churches to give him a list of the sick in hospital so that he could visit them. How marvelous that a bishop came to show love to a congregation he isn’t even responsible for? How much more has Christ shown that He loves humanity, through the comfort brought about by His precious tears?
- It’s okay to shed tears, but in a Godly manner
By Christ’s weeping, He teaches us that it is okay to cry but it must be done in a Godly manner. The Greek word used to describe Mary and Martha’s weeping was one of wailing. In contrast, the Greek word used to describe Christ’s weeping is translated to mean ‘shed tears’. So we learn from Christ that our actions must be done in a Godly manner, including weeping.
- Christ is disturbed by the consequence of sin; death
Christ’s weeping reveals to us that He is disturbed by the consequence of sin, which is death. He weeps not only over Lazarus but also over the condition of humanity and how sin has destroyed his original creation. When we see that God is disturbed by sin, it’s a safeguard against it. Like a child who cannot bear to see his father upset at him, so also we, being the children of God, should be agitated when we sin against Him because it troubles Him.
Glory be to God, Amen