Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Would Jesus Weep at Our Grave?

John 11:25

Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die

photo on 6-11-19 at 10.52 amAs a pastor – I am often called upon many times in the course of a year to celebrate the life of folks from our church and from our community. As I have recently mentioned – it has been nearly 7 years since we celebrated my father’s life. I have also celebrated the life of my mother and my father-in-law. Some day I will help the family celebrate my mother-in-laws life – unless they celebrate mine beforehand.

Someone once said – in this world you can be certain of two things – death and taxes. Some attribute this to Benjamin Franklin. It is a true statement. We weren’t created to die – we were created to live eternally. Yet – because of sin – we are born to die.

Folks – even folks who only know me on the day of the celebration of their loved one’s life – say I hold a nice service – a comforting service – a service that brings them into the presence of God. Recently a man said – I’m not a religious man – but you said some things that touched me today. Another women told me – you made celebrating my father’s life doable. I thought I would be too broken to get through the service. God has gifted me with the ability to connect with people and to help people to be at ease and to remember the good as they celebrate the life of a loved one.

The most important thing we need to do to prepare for death – is not get more insurance – or even make sure that our will is up to date (both good things). What we need to make sure of is our relationship with Jesus. In today’s passage – Jesus tells us this important fact. Here is today’s passage in partial context. John 11:17-37 – 17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. 21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” 28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there. 32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. 35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

Building our relationship with Jesus is essential. Since He is the resurrection and the life – we must be His disciple in order to live eternally with Him rather than living eternally without Him.

Many of us might worry about what others will say at our funeral. I know I think about this a lot – because of the number of funerals I celebrate. But – what we really need to think about is how our relationship with Jesus will determine our eternity. Would Jesus weep at our grave? I really mean to ask that question. How’s our relationship with Jesus? Is He a dear friend or merely someone to save us from hell?

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

September 2, 2019 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. So true that you have a gift with comforting people! I always believed Jesus wept here in these verses because of the lack of faith. I am confident Pastor, that your faith has led many to be saved and encouraged. When my nephew died I have told you that I was so emotional not knowing for sure in his faith UNTIL you spoke some things at the funeral. I am grateful and believe God is working good in many lives because of your spirit working for Him!


    Comment by Millie | September 2, 2019 | Reply

    • Thank you Millie. I believe Jesus wept for the pain his friend and other had gone through and knowing that his friend would need to face death again after he brought him back to life.


      Comment by raymcdonald | September 2, 2019 | Reply

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