In the face of death, Jesus wept, and so should we
Written by Pastor Jon Heeringa

Another mass shooting, this time of children, preceded by a racially motivated mass shooting, continued war in Ukraine, and close to home there is cancer and the death of loved ones. I could go on, but I think we all are feeling the crushing weight of grief.

This is appropriate and necessary, but how do we grieve with hope and in a way that leads to healing rather than more harm? I think Jesus shows us how in John 11 as he grieved the death of his friend Lazarus.

First, notice he went to be with Lazarus’ family and friends. Considering the risk this posed to Jesus, it is noteworthy, but the point is we need each other when we grieve.

Next, I want you to note that Jesus wept. John 11:35 is known for its brevity but I want you to know it for its action. Jesus wept, and we should too. Jesus also got angry. John 11:38 has the phrase “once more deeply moved,” but a more accurate translation would be “bellowing with rage.” It makes us uncomfortable, but Jesus got angry, and we should get angry.

Scripture tells us to be angry but not sin (Ephesians 4:26), and I think that looks like making sure our anger is properly directed. Take your anger to God like the Psalmist often does and then watch what He does. For His part, Jesus got mad at death itself and his anger drove him to do something, raising Lazarus and ultimately conquering death itself.

Knowing all this can help us grieve with hope, and I think our hopeful grief is what the world is looking for.