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,” they replied.
Jesus wept. (John 11:32-35)
Two small words, only nine letters in total. In many translations, Scripture’s shortest verse, and to me, one of its sweetest. It reveals Jesus’ personal empathy with our suffering, even when He knows it will soon be alleviated. He knew He was about to raise Lazarus from the dead; that this sorrow would soon turn to joy. Yet Jesus was deeply moved by Mary’s immediate devastation.
The Greek word for wailing is the one used in verse 33, and depicts the very vocal grieving of first-century mourners. But the word used to describe Jesus’ weeping refers to crying quietly.
Those silent tears coursing down Jesus’ face speak volumes to me.
They tell me that because of our relationship, my sorrow, my pain, my anxious fears, all move Him deeply. The moments and the hours of my anguish trouble Him. He doesn’t brush them off with a “You’ll be fine later.” He weeps when I weep. The cries of my heart reach into His.
Knowing that He shares my pain means knowing I will never be alone in it. When I feel like an abandoned child, scared and hurting, He comes and takes me in His arms. While I’m sobbing on HIs shoulder, His tears are quietly dropping onto mine.
Jesus, beloved Savior, how can I tell You what it means to know You love me so much that my tears move You to tears?