On Sunday, you’ll hear the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. This miracle of course, ends up being a precursor to Jesus’ greatest triumph of the resurrection, but what strikes me more than the miracle itself, is the raw emotion on the part of everyone involved, including Jesus. Mary, the sister of Lazarus, fell at Jesus feet, wept, and proclaimed (almost accusatorily), “Lord , if you had been here, my brother would not have died!”
Many of us who have lost loved ones have said similar words, so perhaps that’s why it’s so easy to relate to Mary. Her grief is palpable – a feeling many of us know all too well. But perhaps even more shocking than Mary’s accusation is Jesus response to her – he wept.
Before we see the divine part of Jesus (the part that can raise the dead to life), we see the human side (the part that experiences grief) and I think that simple act of crying reveals just as much about Jesus as the mighty act of raising the dead. This tells us that God is not an impassive, neutral force in this universe. God cries when we cry. God not only knows our pain, but experiences it himself.
As we reflect on this text for All Saints Sunday and on the Saints who have died, we know God mourns with us over their passing. Even though we have faith in the resurrection, God still grieves with us when we grieve.
And so we know that we do not walk alone in our grief – God always walks with us.