Life is crazy, in the here and now.
We are all grieving – the entire world. In most of our lifetimes, there hasn’t been a collective world grief. We’re all grieving people, time, and lost opportunities. We’re grieving our families and friends who are far away, our graduations and trips, and the comfort of knowing when this will all end. We’re grieving going outside, getting lunch at a restaurant, and even the normalcy of going to school and work. Some of us are grieving even more – some are dealing with extreme loneliness, illness, and death.
We, as a world, have a lot to grieve right now. We, as individuals, are all in pain. But we don’t have to be alone in this sadness.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” – Hebrews 4:15
Jesus, our Risen King, is familiar with grief.
Jesus knows what it is to feel pain. He knows what is to hurt. He knows about illness, and helplessness, and feeling alone. And He is here to be with us in our sadness.
In the eleventh chapter of John, Jesus is called to the bedside of his sick friend, Lazarus. He chooses not to go, instead waiting until Lazarus has died. He tells His disciples that “it is for the glory of God” as they finally visit Lazarus’ mourning sisters, Mary and Martha (John 11:4).
Here, in the middle of this story of death and life, is one of the most well-known verses of the Bible. After emotionally fraught interactions with both Martha and Mary, Jesus is led to the tomb. And there, seeing the grief of his friends and the pain of death, Jesus weeps (John 11:35).
Jesus is about to raise Lazarus from the dead. He is about to turn the grief of Mary and Martha into new joy, and bring hundreds of people to belief in His glory.
And still, He weeps.
Jesus weeps, because even though He knows the brilliant and wonderful end to the story, He also knows the pain and sorrow of the present moment. He knows Mary and Martha: how much they love their brother, how faithful they have been, how hurt they are. He receives their shattered accusations and their blind faith with the same compassionate, heartbreaking love; He weeps with them.
And now, in both our worldwide and our individual grief, He weeps with us.
He’s not just going to fix it. It’s not only that He has plans for a new hope and a future. He’s not just holding a promise of a heaven without tears, of a better tomorrow and fulfilled promises. He has those plans, and He is promising us something greater. But before He reveals his glory to us, He is grieving with us.
So now, in this moment of global fear and heartbreak, know that Jesus is weeping with you. Whatever you are missing, whether it is your graduation, your family, or your favorite movie theater, He knows and He feels it. He sees your personal grief, and He wants to carry it now, even before it’s fixed and everything’s alright again. He wants to comfort you. He wants to love you.
Jesus not only holds your future, but he holds your present as well. He holds you in the pain and the grief, the joy and the love of the right now.
Let Him hold you. Let Him cry with you. Let Him love you.
He knows what Love is, because He is Love.