Friday, November 16, 2007

Jesus wept

"He groaned in in spirit and was troubled...Jesus wept." (John 11:33 & 35)
It is death that is the object of his wrath, and behind death him who has the power of death, and whom he has come into the world to destroy, the devil. Tears of sympathy may fill his eyes, but this is incidental. His soul is held by rage: and he advances to the tomb, in Calvin's words, "as a champion who prepares for conflict." The raising of Lazarus thus becomes not an isolated marvel, but - as indeed it is presented throughout the whole narrative (compare especially, verses 24-26) - a decisive instance and open symbol of Jesus' conquest of death and hell. What John does for us in this particular statement is to uncover to us the heart of Jesus, as he wins for us our salvation. Not in cold unconcern, but in flaming wrath against the foe, Jesus smites on our behalf. He has saved us from the evils which oppress us; he has felt for and with us in our oppression, and under the impulse of these feeling has wrought out our redemption.
B. B. Warfield, The Emotional Life of our Lord, p. 177, in The Person and Work of Christ, P&R
Who is he that stands and weeps
at the grave where Lazarus sleeps?
'Tis the Lord! O wondrous story!
'tis the Lord, the King of glory!
at his feet we humbly fall;
crown him, crown him Lord of all!
Benjamin Russell Hanby (1833-67

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