Blog Devotionals

Does God Cry?

March 18, 2024 | Sam Rainer

          The shortest verse in the Bible is one of the most powerful. John 11:35 states, “Then Jesus wept.” Three short words. Other translations record only two words, “Jesus wept.” It’s a powerful and succinct verse. Jesus is filled with emotion over the death of his friend Lazarus. He weeps—right before He resurrects him! Why would Jesus weep right before He is about to heal? The reason is to demonstrate how God is emotionally invested in the people of His creation. He is not only with you, God understands what you feel.

God feels human emotions because He created them. Jesus weeps over Lazarus. Jesus weeps during the triumphal entry. Jesus is grieved over Jerusalem in Matthew 23 and 24. The Holy Spirit grieves over your sin.  Stop and let this point sink in: God cries.  What does this reality mean for us today? Our Creator relates to us! God does not exist in a state of emotionless automation. He has a mind, emotions, and a personality. But God is not moody. He doesn’t have mood swings. Our emotions are volatile. God’s emotions are consistent. Our emotions can cloud our judgment. God’s emotions are always good. Our emotions can be selfish. God is never capricious.

How is Palm Sunday connected to God’s emotions? Jesus weeps as He enters Jerusalem. He knows the future destruction that awaits the Jewish people. This text (Matthew 21) is often called the “Triumphal Entry” because of the way people celebrate Jesus as He enters Jerusalem. But the scene mixes triumph with tears.  Palm Sunday is the Sunday before resurrection Sunday. It is the start of “Passion Week,” or the week leading up to the resurrection. The “palm” references Matthew 21, where people cut branches and laid them before Jesus as He entered Jerusalem.

Why is this week important? Palm Sunday reveals a movement of triumph to tears—the people’s praise became the cries of the cross. But Easter Sunday reveals the opposite, a movement of tears to triumph—from the death of Jesus to the resurrection of Jesus. The King is alive!