Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead
Jesus weeps with his children.
A small clear bottle with a little water in it.
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In the book of Psalms, David asked God to put his tears in a bottle. (Psalm 56:8) Do you see this little bottle? I call it "My Tears Bottle." These aren't real tears, it’s just water, but it reminds me of the times that I have cried real tears. Now, I don't know that God keeps our tears in a bottle like this one, but I do believe that God sees our tears and hears us when we cry.
Do you ever cry? Of course you do. What is something that makes you cry? (Allow responses.)
I made a list of some things that make us cry.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever fallen down and hurt yourself so badly that you cried. (Allow responses.)
Raise your hand if you ever have been so sad that you cried. (Allow responses.)
Raise your hand if someone hurt your feelings and you cried. (Allow responses.)
Raise your hand if you’ve ever cried because someone else was crying. (Allow responses.)
We all cry, don't we? Did you know that Jesus cried? The shortest verse in the entire Bible says, "Jesus wept." I know of at least three things that made Jesus cry.
The Bible tells us that Jesus cried when He prayed for others. It says, "While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears." (Hebrews 5:7 NLT)
The Bible also tells us that Jesus cried when He saw people who were missing out on what God wanted for them. Luke tells us that as Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it and said, "I wish that even today you would find the way of peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from you." (Luke 19:41-42 NLT)
Another time, the Bible tells us that Jesus cried when friends of His were hurting. Jesus had a friend named Lazarus who became very sick. His sisters, Mary and Martha, sent word to Jesus and asked Him to come and heal Lazarus, but when Jesus arrived, Lazarus had already died. The Bible tells us that when Jesus saw Mary weeping because her brother had died, He cried too. That isn't all that Jesus did; listen to what happened next.
Jesus went with Mary and Martha and some others to visit the grave where Lazarus was buried. It was a cave with a large stone across the entrance. When they arrived at the tomb, Jesus said to some of the men who were with them, "Take away the stone." Then Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" And Lazarus walked out of the grave. I imagine that when she saw that, Mary's tears of sadness turned to tears of joy.
We all cry, and I am glad that we have a Savior who weeps too. I am glad that He loves us so much that He hurts when we are hurting. He feels our pain. He sees our tears and He keeps our tears in a bottle.
Dear Jesus, it is comforting to know that when we cry, You cry with us. But it is even more comforting to know that You have power over death and the grave and that one day we will be in heaven with You--and then there will be no more tears. In Jesus’ name, amen