Today's verses are John 11:34-36: "And he said, 'Where have you laid him?' They said to him, "Lord, come and see.' Jesus wept. So the Jews said, 'See how he loved him!'" My child, as I saw the grief of all Lazarus' friends and family members, I asked the question, "Where have you laid him?" The crowd started to lead me to his tomb.
As they did, I wept. This one verse is most often noted to be the shortest verse in the Bible. It is. But that's not the reason it should be noteworthy.
It is a very important verse in the Bible to show all who follow me how to handle grief. I did weep over what death had done to my friend Lazarus...and all creation.
But I also knew the power of my Father in heaven that flowed in my life. I knew that this power could easily grant triumph over death. As my voice will one day call forth the entire world to resurrection life in the last day, so it is also about to call forth Lazarus' death from the grave to new life.
Yes, I joined Mary, Martha and all their friends' sadness of heart and deep sorrow. I wept. I empathize with all human hurts. But underlying my sorrow is the knowledge and joy the resurrection will soon bring to all those who believe in me and die.
My child, please learn from my example on how to handle grief when you lose a loved one. My friend and apostle Paul wrote in I Thessalonians 4:13 that when a Christian loved one dies, we should grieve with hope. Grief is not evil. It's my Father in heaven's way of reminding you that this life is not all there is. My Father in heaven, nor I, can fill that hole. Grief within your heart is purposefully left there to remind you that eternity is your home and you will see your loved one again.
Therefore, you need to grieve over loss. That's human. It's natural. Someone once spelled grief L-O-S-S. From the time you enter into this world, you start to lose things: your health, friends, loved ones...and eventually all the things of this world. This life is temporary and transitory. And the more valuable a lost item, the greater the grief.
Therefore, tears are my Father's gift to you. They are his natural way to salve your soul. They help cleanse your wounds. Yes, grieve! But don't stop there. You are also to grieve with hope. Accompanying all grief, there should be a sincere belief that you will see your loved one again. One day, in eternity, you will be reunited with those you love who also trust in me.
My child, I wept over grief and loss. So should you. But always remember to grieve with hope. For followers of me, death is merely an entrance into eternal life. Death has no more sting. Death has no victory. Thanks be to my Father who always leads his children into the triumph, into the victory of eternal life over death.
Believe this today. If death can't harm you today, nothing really can!
You can trust me today.