Cry; Don’t Cry
If you’ve been to a funeral, maybe you felt a little awkward because you weren’t sure how to act. If going to heaven is a good thing, am I not supposed to cry? But what if I’m sad?
Two stories in the Bible help us to see how Jesus reacted at two different funerals.
Funeral #1: Lazarus, one of Jesus’ best friends, had just died. Jesus went for the funeral and to comfort Mary and Martha, Lazarus’ sisters. “When Jesus saw [Mary] crying, and the Jews who were crying with her, he was deeply moved and troubled.” When he went to Lazarus’ tomb, the Bible tells us, “Jesus cried” (John11:33, 35).
When God created the world, death was not part of the plan. So every single death is a reminder that this world is not how it was meant to be. Death isn’t natural; it’s heartbreaking. It’s okay to cry, like Jesus cried, when people you love die.
Funeral #2: One day Jesus saw a funeral procession. The only son of a widow was about to be buried. “When the Lord saw her, he felt sorry for her. He said to her, ‘Don’t cry’” (Luke 7:13). The he told her son to get up—and he did!
If it’s okay to cry, why would Jesus say, “Don’t cry”? This woman’s husband had died and now her son was dead too. Her family was gone, and she had no hope left. Jesus let her know that he had power over death; he gave her hope.
“We don’t want you to grieve like other people who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and came back to life. We also believe that, through Jesus, God will bring back those who have died. They will come back with Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14).
It’s okay to be sad and at the same time have the true hope that death has no power over us.
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