Funeral Homily: Jesus Wept

Jesus wept. This is the shortest sentence or verse in the Bible. One noun and one verb; there could be nothing more simpler than this. But this simple sentence has got so much to teach us today as we are gathered here to condole and mourn the death of Mary Wilson. It has got so much to say to Cecil her beloved husband and Stephen and Patsy her children who mourn the death of Mary. For them Mary’s death means separation of a person who meant so much to them. That separation hurts them deeply and their hearts are at pain. We may tell “Cecil, we understand your pain. We understand what you are going through.” But you know that we don’t really understand what you are going through.” But let me tell you honestly we cannot understand what Cecil is going through, only Jesus can understand his pain. Only Jesus can understand his sense of loss. Only he understands it. That is what this simple sentence ’Jesus wept’ means. Jesus understands our every pain and agony.

Let me explain. Jesus had just returned to the village of Bethany, to the home of his beloved friends, Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, sisters and a brother who lived together. His dear friend, Lazarus, had died four days earlier, and there was intense mourning surrounding his burial place within the tomb. Lazarus’ sisters, also dear friends of Jesus, were distraught over the loss of their beloved, younger brother.
Jesus came and stood in the midst of these mourners in the midst of scene of sorrow. He heard their cries of pain and loss, he saw tears streaming down despondent faces. It must have been a chilling scene. In the midst of this dark moment of weeping and sorrow, Jesus felt intense pain swirling around Him, he felt that pain and He wept.

This is where I want you to remember one important thing: throughout this ordeal, even as hot tears flowed from his eyes — Jesus knew that, in a matter of minutes, He was going to be raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:14). The young man would soon be up, walking around, hugging his sisters and rejoicing with his friends. So, if Jesus knew all along that Lazarus would soon be alive again, why is he weeping? Why would He feel such deep sorrow just before He was due to perform a joyous miracle?
Friends, When you love someone, you empathize with that person’s pain. This verse ‘Jesus wept’ speaks volumes of the extraordinary love of Jesus Christ for each soul that He created. He will not be happy to see the death of a person. As Jesus observed that dark scene of death, He felt the heartbreak of those around Him. He wept.

There is the message for you Cecil. Jesus can understand your heart break. He can feel your pain as he felt the pain of Martha and Mary. He weeps with you. Even though we who are gathered around you may not understand your pain and may not weep with you, but Jesus who loves you and who loves Mary understands your pain and he is with you in your pain.

Devil for a moment may be happy to see you weeping and see Jesus weeping with you at the face of death. He may think that he hurt you and Jesus with his sting. But he know that his joy is short lived. He know that his victory dance is short lived. He know that he lost the battle. Because Jesus conquered death. The same Jesus who wept for Lazarus, who displayed his love and empathy for his friends, said Lazarus, “Lazarus, Come out!”

Immediately, sounds were heard from within the dark, chill cave. And to every ones shock Lazarus stumbled from the tomb, blinking at the sudden blaze of light after days spent in darkness. A young man who was dead and buried, now alive and healthy – ready to praise the name of the Lord who raised him.”

This is what gives us consolation at the face of the death of our beloved ones. Death is dead. Jesus conquered it. And the death Mary experienced now is only a passage to another life which is more permanent and more eternal, with no pains, no sicknesses and no death which you and me hope to obtain in the course of time. Un till then we all long for it and prepare for it, for the life which Mary received already. Our hearts are restless un till they rest in you. Let this hope keep us going un till we all meet her in another life. Amen.

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