John 11:25, “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.”
Many people know the shortest verse in the Bible has only two words and nine letters. The verse is found in John 11:35. Simply, “Jesus wept.”
But few know there is another verse that has only two words, although it is not the shortest verse because it has fifteen letters, it is found in I Thessalonians 5:16 and says, “Rejoice every man.”
Is there a connection between these two verses? Most certainly!
Jesus wept at the tomb of His friend Lazarus, who had been dead for four days. Jesus felt sorrow that His friend had experienced sickness and death and Mary and Martha had been put through the grieving process, but also that no one at the tomb understood Him. No one saw that with the presence of Jesus there is always resurrection, life and hope. Oh yes, Jesus promises in Matthew 28:20, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” How wonderful is that?
Back to the story, Jesus knew within moments Lazarus would be alive again, raised from the dead and the joy of his friends would soon be unbridled and ecstatic. But that knowledge did not keep him from empathizing with the pain of His friends. Jesus weeps with us when we have bad things happen to us. He does not stand- off, aloof, and disinterested. He feels what we feel. He hurts for us when we hurt.
“When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
“ Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord;and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (Acts 7:54-59). (account of Stephen) Look again at Jesus’ reaction.
Jesus also knows something about problems or crisis that we often do not know. He knows the time is very near when our sorrow will end, our suffering will cease and we will experience the great joy of the truly abundant life He bought for us at Calvary.
It is good for us to recognize that Jesus weeps when we weep. It is also right for us to move from our weeping to rejoicing as a sign of our faith in Jesus. He cares deeply for us.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion” (Romans 12:15-16).
Let the resurrection of Jesus inside you bring forth the joy of new life. May God bless all-Bishop Wheeler