Have you ever been overcome with deep feelings of compassion and sympathy for someone going through a trial? You couldn’t help yourself… when you heard of their loss, saw their pain, and sensed their deep sorrow the feelings just welled up within you! Tears came, you choked up, you could hardly talk – you just wanted to put your arm around the hurting person you cared so deeply about, do what you could to help them, and comfort them!
There’s a story like that in the Bible about Jesus! Lazarus, his dear friend had died, Jesus had not been there when it happened. Mary and Martha, Lazarus’s sisters were grieving, hurt and suffering! Here’s what the Bible says about the deep feelings Jesus experienced, “When Jesus saw Mary weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, He was DEEPLY MOVED in His spirit and GREATLY TROUBLED! He said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to Him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ [And then what follows is the shortest verse of Scripture in the Bible – but one filled with unspeakable depths of feeling and comfort] Jesus wept!” A couple of verses later this aspect of Jesus’ concern is amplified – the Bible says, “Then Jesus, DEEPLY MOVED AGAIN, came to the tomb…” (From John 11:17-44)
Jesus, however, did not just feel helpless in this sad situation. He identified deeply with their pain and sorrow, but He knew what He was going to do! He said, “I go to awaken him.” He was aware of who He was and what He could and would do. He told Martha, Lazarus’s sister, “Your brother will rise again.” And then He declared, “I am the resurrection and the life! Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die!” Then displaying the truth of what He had declared, He had the stone rolled away at the grave and He “Cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!” And Lazarus did! Their sorrow was turned to joy – their hearts were filled with hope!
Two things need to be kept in mind it seems to me in this story: First of all, Jesus cares deeply about the sorrow, pain and suffering we experience! Second, because of who He is, there is hope – He is the resurrection and the life!
As I read this passage today during “coffee with the Lord” I was reminded of the words of a wonderful old gospel song…
“Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?
“Oh, yes, He cares! I know He cares!
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares!
“Does Jesus care when my way is dark
With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?
“Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed
To resist some temptation strong;
When for my deep grief there is no relief,
Though my tears flow all the night long?
Does Jesus care when I’ve said “goodbye”
To the dearest on earth to me,
And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks—
Is it aught to Him? Does He see?
–Frank E. Graeff, 1901