The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” John 11:36

We’ve all seen the pictures:

A young woman in a bridal gown laying across the grave of a fallen soldier, her husband.

A little boy in salute to the grave of his father.

The flowers, crosses and candles that materialize overnight after some horrific accident.

The heart wrenching cry of a mother, father, sister, brother, friend after a mass shooting.

We feel the agony. Some of us may even tear up ourselves. We know life will go on. We know death happens. We know…but that doesn’t stop the pain.

Jesus stood at the tomb of one of his closest friends and wept. Even though he was the Son of God…God himself in the flesh, God among us, Emmanuel … he wept at the thought of life without Lazarus.

As we approach Resurrection Sunday, as we mourn the death and celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus, let us never forget his love for mankind. Even as he mourned his friends death there were those who questioned his lateness. Today many malign him and question the scientific and historical facts of his existence. Few have ever questioned his love.

Fast forward a few days. Another crowd is gathered where Jesus is. This time, it is them that are crying as they watch their friend, brother, teacher suffering the most painful and cruel kinds of death – death on the cross.

It was the same love the brought tears to Jesus’ eyes that brought him to the cross. It was the same love that drove him to endure the pain of death so you could have victory over death. At the tomb of Lazarus Jesus hung his head and cried. On the cross, he hung his head and died. At the tomb Jesus held up his hands and ordered the dead to live again. On the cross he spread out his hands and gave eternal life to the living.

Never look at the cross of Christ without seeing the empty tomb. Regardless of where you are in life, or where you have been. No matter how you have been hurt, or how you have hurt others. Jesus cried for you and died for you.

The scene at Lazarus’ tomb reminds us of how much Jesus loved. Let the cross remind you of how much he loves you.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, some things go beyond words. Help me today to see your love for me in a whole new way. Empower me to share that love with someone who needs your touch. I love you Jesus. Amen.