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  • Foundations of Truth

Jesus Wept and so Should We

Updated: Jan 2, 2020

When Jesus arrived on the scene after Lazarus died (a close personal friend), He was met by mourning family and friends.

Feeling their deep grief, Jesus “groaned in the spirit, and was troubled” (John 11:33).

He then went to Lazarus’ burial place and, in the shortest verse of the Bible, we see that:

“Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)

Jesus’ tears had an enormous effect on those gathered around Lazarus’ tomb. The people looked at Him and were astonished: “Behold how He loved him!” (John 11:36)

Jesus’s tearful reaction served as a testimony to the love He had for His friend. By this example, Christ showed us an appropriate response to the loss of a loved one.

In today’s secular culture, however, people are starting to think that mourning and funerals are out of touch—who wants to spend a day crying? A recent editorial described the shift from funerals to what could be called “death parties”: “An increasingly secular, nomadic, and casual America is shredding the rules about how to commemorate death…end-of-life ceremonies are being personalized: golf-course cocktail send-offs, backyard potluck memorials, more Sinatra and Clapton, less “Ave Maria,” more Hawaiian shirts, fewer dark suits. Families want to put the ‘fun’ in funerals.”[i] (emphasis added)

More and more in America are shifting away from funerals and instead are throwing a party in an attempt to drown out their grief. But is this really the best way to deal with the passing of a loved one? If Jesus wept, shouldn’t we?

Alfred Tennyson, one of the most famous English poets, had a revelation while mourning the sudden and unexpected death of his best friend. Through much prayer and reflection, Tennyson realized: “Let love clasp grief, lest both be drowned.”[ii]

Tennyson echoes what Jesus said during the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).

The Bible further tells us that there are times and seasons when it is good and healthy to mourn—just like there are times where it is good to rejoice: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4)

If Jesus wept at the death of a loved one, so can we.

Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.


[i] Karen Heller, “The funeral as we know it is becoming a relic—just in time for a death boom,” The Washington Post (April 15, 2019), here

[ii] Alfred Tennyson, “XXXIV. I held it truth, with him who sings,” In Memoriam, here

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