Friday, April 6, 2012

A Closer Look at Sadness 3: Jesus wept. What sadness do we bear?

Have you ever seen a dog with a wound? In an attempt to keep a wound clean I have seen a dog lick and lick and lick and lick until the wound is raw and far worst than it ever was before. A special collar that prevents the dog from reaching his wound is needed in order for the wound to heal. These collars can be called Elizabethan collars (E-collars for short), cone collars, or lampshade collars.

Sometimes we are in need of such a spiritual collar, for our sadness can sometimes simply be discontent and is therefore sin.

So when is it righteous to be sad?

Let us take a look at Jesus sadness.

Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus. Not just a little cry, God's word says he was greatly troubled and deeply moved. He wept over the consequences of the fall - death itself. And He wept over the sadness of His worshipping friend, Mary. How beautiful was her utter faith in Him, no doubt this must have moved His heart as well. He wept over Mary's Jewish friends who wept. There is no doubt He was himself was saddened by His friend's death.

But what did this grief do for Jesus? It moved Him to show us His glory! Does our grief move us to show others more of God's glory! Does it push us to good worship and good works?

John 11: 32 Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. 34 And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. ...

38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

He wept over Jerusalem.
Jesus wept over His unbelieving people who were blinded and could not see His plan of salvation and peace. It would seem that even Jesus as a man, wrestled and struggled but accepted the sovereign plan that some would go to hell. Do we weep over souls lost, does it move us to tell God's plan of salvation, do we accept His sovereignty even on these matters? We should be deeply moved and troubled for the souls of others, we should be praying in earnest about these things..

Luke 19: 
41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying,  “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Jesus wept over His impending death and separation from His Abba Father in Gethsemane, over the thought of the full impact of utter shame, utter destitution, the utter burden of our sin: 

In His utter grief of facing death, the brunt of our sin...His sorrow yet brings triumph - for He submits to His Abba Father and does His greatest work of all - He dies in order that we may have salvation.

Jesus greatest point of sorrow: the moment before death: When we sorrow, may we have a holy, godly sorrow that bows our knee before our Lord. That says as Jesus did just before He breathed His last to enter His moment of greatest grief ..."into thy hands I commit my spirit"

I am reminded of the verses in the Old Testament, of how God can use sadness for His glory.

Ecc. 3: 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time.
And Psalm 30:
To you, O Lord, I cry,
and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
“What profit is there in my death,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your faithfulness?
10 Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me!
O Lord, be my helper!”
11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
12 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

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