Edákrusen ho Iēsous

Henry Ossawa Tanner, Resurrection of Lazarus, 1896, Public Domain.

the shortest verse of the bible intrigues and baffles me:

Edákrusen ho Iēsous

jesus wept

(john 11:35)


as a child in sunday school, it was impossible to understand: why would he? he could do anything? and he does?! why are YOU crying?

in the story, lazarus, his best bud, is dies.  jesus heard that lazarus is ill, however, got there too late- lazarus was no more. he wept.

now, that makes sense.

what does not make sense:  then he resurrects lazarus.  in my eyes, jesus had nothing to cry about- may be he mustve cried because the rest were crying- much like bunch of children, when one starts to cry, the rest often joins in.  may be he cried to show that he belonged with them, in common experience of death of lazarus.  but it wasnt like he was never going to see lazarus- didnt he come to talk about afterlife? one must believe in it to convince people about it? if anyone was going to cry, it shouldve been lazarus: where the hell am i? what have happened? why the heck am i here alone in a burial ground? whats going on? can you imagine the horror? there is no way lazarus knew what happened to him right away- and staying in the tomb for four days, he mustve felt awful- hence: waaa!

as i got older, that small sense of sarcasm grew and grew. perhaps jesus wept because so many of us were calling him (in bane) because we are so pathetic...

jesus, i am late!
jesus, i cant believe him/her!
jesus, i failed this assignment?
jesus, he/she cheated on me!
jesus! (shakes head in disbelief)

i still think jesus would surely cry when he has to listen to all these (possibly petty) pleas and cries.  jesus may even think: what are you guys? bunch of children? what do i have to do with human faults? why dont you take responsibility with your freewill? learn to be responsible, no?

regardless, the son of god cried. this is a big deal.  may be he really suffered (human) pain of death.  like the way he felt hunger and thirst, he felt 'loss,' irreversible (at least in this 'living' plane).  this is the first time someone close to jesus dies i think.  and we thought we cried when we first lost something dear to us...! (most of us, it wouldve been something smaller, older or a bit farther away from us, whether it be a goldfish, old grand parent, puppy... i only really lost someone really close at ripe age of 31 and people were sympathizing about my untimely loss of younger brother).

may be knowing that lazarus did not completely disappear and cease to exist (regardless of resurrection), he felt sorry and frustrated for lazarus' friends mourning- dont you get it kids? lazarus' not done- stop crying!

perhaps we will never know why he wept. but there it is, most memorable point of bible.

whenever life fills up to the top and i have to balance carefully- my patience leaving me, my sanity nowhere to be found, catching myself saying sharp things and getting immensely frustrated by small faults of others that was never intentional, i think of this particular verse.

he may have cried for me. because i am so small. and fragile. and has no special presence or power.so not special.  because i am broken and pathetic. or because he desperately wants me to see how things really are- that no one is truly trying to screw me over, it just happened to be.  because he felt sorry for me.

april rain has been coming down hard for past two days.  ooh surely the day is full of reasons for us to cry. and jesus to weep.  such is life.  never quite right but heart-touching.

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