The truth is, we hurt. Loss is painful. Sickness is painful. Death is painful. So often life is painful and involves painful things. But Jesus was also capable of being hurt. He is able to identify with us in every way, in any kind of emotional or physical pain, because He experienced those things Himself. Human emotion is not beyond the creator of those emotions. And Jesus truly experienced all the depths of what it is to be human. He felt that sadness and sorrow and the intense grief Himself and related to all the people grieving Lazarus’ death.
And even as God, knowing He would be raising Lazarus back to life, Jesus is overcome with love for Lazarus and his sisters, with sadness at his death and the pain that it caused. So what does that tell us that the heart of our God is not incapable of being hurt? Could it be that this is how our spiritual death affects the heart of our loving God? Could it be that He mourns with this intense grief over those who reject Him and are eternally separated from Him?
Jesus’ presence on Earth at this time was proof of the fervent love that resides in the heart of God, because Jesus would very soon face that most painful death on the cross of Calvary. He would go to this extreme to secure our salvation and unite us to the Father. He would make a way for lost sinners who faced only a future of unending pain to instead have the hope of a future of only goodness and joy and satisfaction in His presence forever. He would give His beloved Son so He could have us, too, for all eternity.
Jesus was a physical, visible manifestation of God upon Earth. He was God with us. He was God in the flesh. So can’t we see through this story just how much He loves us and how much He cares about us and the very difficult things we face in our lives? Can’t we see how much He wants us to know Him, to believe on Him, and to follow Him faithfully in a committed relationship? Can’t we see how much that separation hurts Him and what He was willing to do to unite us with Him forever? So then let us not grieve the heart of our God. Let’s us not wander from Him and damage that relationship or sever that connection. But let us live with an appreciation of that love He has for us and the tremendous sacrifice He made for us.