READ: Job 19-21, Psalm 6, Luke 23, Revelation 7
THE LANGUAGE OF WEEPING
Jesus speaks tears. Crying is a primal articulation of the soul–a language God fluently speaks. It is difficult to fathom the eternal God who is ever on the cross. Bound by time we consider Christ’s agony on the cross to be confined to one day. God, outside of time, is ever on the cross, and thus ever suffers for man. The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world is the Lamb standing in heaven as if slain. God who knows all, sees all, ever lives the horror of the cross. Being finite, our pain is time bound. Our grief is bookended by the ignorant bliss of having a beginning and the blessed hope of heaven wiping away all tears. God has no such luxury. In a staggering sense, God’s deity demands His eternal suffering. God eloquently speaks–and hears–the language of weeping.
Oh the joy of being finite! Man in his folly demands godlike powers, unaware of the unimaginable cost of being divine. To be limitless would be agony. Our self-sufficiency in the temporal world leads to distress (Job 20:22). Marred by sin, to be alone is poison. Our deliverance comes from the One who dwells with us and stamps our minds with Himself (Rev. 7:3). Sealed by God, our minds are protected from the burdens of eternity, allowing us to enjoy the benefits. Jesus promises to dwell with us forever, shepherd us, lead us, wipe away every tear from our eyes (v. 17). We cry now, comforted that God understands our tears. We rejoice then, knowing that God wipes tears away. We marvel that God removes tears (pain/sorrow) by absorbing it. God ever bears sorrow in His eternal being. He cries that I might rejoice.
In the midst of indescribable tragedy–and God’s children are often asked to bear unimaginable pain–we have two comforts. First, God speaks the language of tears. We don’t have to articulate our agony. We don’t have to be coherent. We don’t have to make sense. We don’t have to be composed or “holy.” We just wail–and Jesus understands us, for on the inside He likewise weeps.
At some point in our weeping, Jesus calls us softly as He called Mary. Blinded by grief and tears we do not recognize Him, so He just stands and waits and cries along with us, and softly calls again. As we listen to Jesus weep, something in our own brokenness is soothed for it dawns that inconceivable as it may seem, Jesus is in more pain than we are. And then with Job, something rises in our spirit. It starts small but ever rises: “I KNOW that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth. And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I SHALL see God” (Job 19:25-26, emphasis added). My tears are mingled and then lost in His. He wipes them away by swallowing them. My eternal joy rests on Christ’s eternal agony. What kind of God is this?