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Life would never be the same. Her husband had died several years ago and now she was attending the funeral of her only son. Understandably the tears were flowing.
I have been to funerals before. I am sure there were people there that saw her and didn’t know what to say. But not Jesus. Filled with compassion he walked to her, looked into her eyes and said, “Don’t cry.”
Crying is not wrong, it’s a natural human emotion, especially at a funeral. Even Jesus wept at the graveside of his friend, Lazarus. So why would Jesus tell her to stop in this obvious time of grief? I wonder if it was because these weren’t tears of natural sadness and grief, but tears of despair and hopelessness. There is a difference. Tears of sadness and grief come from a heart that is wrestling with hurt. Tears of despair and hopelessness come from a heart that’s wrestling with confidence in Jesus’ care and power. Despair and hopelessness are dangerous places to be.
Tenderly, Jesus said two words, “Don’t cry”. But Jesus doesn’t just bring words of comfort, he brings the power to accomplish it. He walked over to the widow’s dead son and powerfully said two words, “Get up”…and he did! No more crying, or at least the tears of despair and hopelessness disappeared.
I’ll admit I have cried too many tears of despair and hopelessness in my life. There is a sinful part of me that gets so caught up in the hurt that I doubt Jesus’ ability to help or wonder if he even wants to help. That’s unbelief and that’s a dangerous place to be.
Jesus reminded the widow that he loved her and that he could do anything by raising her son from the dead. I wonder if you need to be reminded of the same thing. God proved his love for you and his ability to do anything when he sent his only Son as your substitute. All of our sin, including our despair was placed inside the body of his only Son as he, not us, hung on the cross. Our punishment was placed on him until there was no life left in him. Three days later when the tears of the world were flowing, God the Father addressed his Son with two words, “Get up”…and he did. His love for you, proven, his forgiveness of you, certain, his promises to you, golden.
I don’t know the next time you’ll cry…maybe you’re crying right now. If they are natural tears of sadness or grief, I have two words, “I’m sorry.” It’s not easy living in a sinful world but Jesus will strengthen you. But if they are tears of despair or hopelessness, the Jesus who lived, died, and rose for you has two words, “Don’t cry.”
When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” – Luke 7:13