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“JESUS WEPT.”

Dear Brethren: – This verse (John xi. 35), is the shortest and most expressive in the Bible. There is a volume of meaning in it. That the bereaved sisters of Lazarus wept, is not remarkable, nor that the Jews wept in sympathy, for it is human to weep when death severs loving kindred and friends; but the touching words, “Jesus wept,” fill us with solemn wonder, for he says, “I came down from heaven.” He is Jehovah, Lord of heaven and earth, the God of the holy prophets, the Almighty. Yet this Holy One wept! “He groaned in the Spirit, and was troubled.” How strangely awe-inspiring is this! For this weeper was separate from sinners, and higher than the heavens. Isaiah said of him, “He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.” But the prophet again beheld him stricken with grief, as at the tomb of Lazarus, and in the garden, when he prayed with strong crying and tears, and says of him, “His visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the souls of men.” The Son of God in tears! Let us bow low our heads in sorrow and surprise. Well might the prophet ask, “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah! this that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength”? The answer is, “I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” This is Jesus, who wept. His mighty power to save was beheld when he said, ‘‘Lazarus, come forth,” and in every word of his saving power. For in his word there was and is all power, both to make alive and heal. Why, then, should this Holy One weep? The answer is found in these words, “For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” So, then, God’s “holy child Jesus,” is a man, and the Son of man, as truly as he is “the Son of the Highest.” Therefore John says, “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, * * * full of grace and truth.” It was this God-man that wept. As a man, and as our Brother, Jesus wept. For us he wept. Our sins made him weep. He came to save his people from their sins, and to put away their sins by the sacrifice of himself. Therefore he must needs suffer and die for his brethren who were in the world, and so deliver them from this present evil world. “Having loved his own that were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” As the Son of man, Jesus the Son of God, was our Brother in the flesh, as we are his brethren in the Spirit as born of God. Therefore he is not ashamed to call us brethren, and he loved us even as the Father loved him. In this mutual kindredship and oneness in brotherhood, Jesus was the “Brother born for adversity,” and was touched with the feeling of our infirmities; for God anointed his Son Jesus to be the Apostle and High Priest of our profession. Hence Jesus Christ the righteous suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might put away our sins and bring us to God. So he was and is one with his people and brethren, and their cause is his cause, and in all their afflictions he was afflicted. Lazarus was dead. Jesus had gone to him. The sisters were in great sorrow. Jesus saw and knew and felt it all. Their sin and suffering, death and sorrow, were his with them. So with them he wept. They were under the law, and he was one with them under the law; they were in the flesh, and he came to them in the flesh; they were sinners, and he was made to be sin for them, that he might take away their sins; the sorrow of death was upon them, and he sorrowed with them unto death. “In all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might he a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” In this oneness and fellowship with his brethren, Jesus was tempted in all points like as they are, yet without sin, for he knew no sin; yet he bore the sicknesses and sorrows of his people, and the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. How touchingly was this manifested in the sickness and death of Lazarus, and the consequent sorrow and weeping of Martha and Mary and Jesus; for while he weeps with them as their sympathizing Brother and suffering Redeemer, he banishes sickness and death, and they and Lazarus rejoice with him in his life and glory. Jesus came to them as their sorrowing Brother on the earthly side of the boasting grave, that with them he might weep, and for them die; but anon they rise up out of sickness, sorrow and death, and go to him on heaven’s side of the grave, and lo, Jesus is to them the Resurrection and the Life! Sorrow and weeping flee away, and now, behold, both he and they are glorified together, and their joy is full! Thus shall the prophecy of John be fulfilled which says, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.” Blessed Jesus, how we love thee! because thou didst first love us.

D. BARTLEY.

Signs Of The Times
Volume 66., No. 2.
JANUARY 15, 1898.