This is my 7th blog in a series called “Jesus Said”. The purpose of this series it to take a closer look at the word of God and discover the message God has for us so we don’t drift away from the life He desires for us. Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. Hebrews 2:1 Today we are looking at what Jesus said about tears.
My daughter came home the other day and told me they had celebrated the Day of the Dead in Spanish class. “They have a myth that you shouldn’t cry or it will create problems for your dead friends and family.” she mentioned causally, but with a look of question in her eyes. “Well, I’m glad that isn’t true!” I quickly remarked or all my friends, relatives and people I didn’t even know would be REALLY mad at me because I cry when they die and it’s healthy to cry.” I explained that I thought the reason I have to have my tear ducts replaced (I really did last week) is because I have cried so many tears for those who have come into my life and died, or for those who I recognize will be missed deeply, died tragically and sometimes when I’ve cried for joyous occasions and miracles of healing or a birth I’ve witnessed. Of course, I was kidding about the amount of my tears being the reason for my need of new tear ducts, but it feels like that could be the reason at I look back at some seasons of my life.
I discovered three main things about Jesus and tears this week. One, our tears are an offering. Two, Jesus didn’t like to see people weep and three, when it comes to death we shouldn’t weep, but rejoice. Let’s take a look.
In the book of Luke when Simon (a Pharisee) invites Jesus to dinner a sinful woman anointed His feet. Jesus responds:
“Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Luke 7:44-47
First, our tears are an offering. An offering is defined as something that is given to God or a god as a part of religious worship. When we cry to Him, the tears that fall are an offering. He takes the offering and offers us His peace, comfort, care, healing and love.
Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Psalm 126:5
Jesus brought more than one person back from the dead. He didn’t like to see others weeping and wailing over the loss. Just like we don’t. Only Jesus could actually do something about it and sometimes did. We see an example of this in Luke 7:13-14 when Jesus raises a young man from the dead after seeing the widow weeping.
When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!”
His heart goes out to us when we are hurting and when we cry, we wail, we mourn. He has compassion on us. He seeing and feels our pain and walks with us promising joy and laughter. I’m not sure about you, but knowing someone understands and cares when I’m am hurting always helps.
Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Luke 6:21
Third, Jesus reminds us not to cry for those who leave this earth. Now, I get this, but lets be honest! It’s not them I’m crying for, they have it easy up there in Heaven hanging out with Jesus, seeing old friends and relatives, singing praise songs in the Glory of our God. I’m crying for me! Yes, it’s selfish, but I’m the one stuck down here without my person and it hurts when daily life, food, places, and songs remind us of what we once had that is now gone. That said, Jesus asked an interesting question when He first appeared to Mary Magdalene after she tells John and Simon Peter His tomb is empty:
“He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic,“Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” John 20:15-17
OK, I love this. Jesus is like, “Woman, what’s up with this crying?! Don’t you know I’ve got to head back up to Heaven to work out the rest of this BIG plan God’s got going on for you and everyone else. It’s all good. I’m headed right where I belong.” Again, so much easier for the one who is going to Heaven (Oh, and for the Son of God) to be all chill about it. (side note: I’m not sure why death makes me us so much slang. It just seems to work here.)
As the holiday season approaches, emotions are heightened and the sense of loss we seem to deep to overcome. Keep crying when you need to cry. Don’t deny yourself the quiet moments to mourn the loss of those you love and have lost, our tears are an offering and God cares and sees your pain and has promised you joy and laughter in the days to come. God adores YOU and counts each tear that falls.