A phone call late on a cold winter night or early on a balmy spring morning. Voices cracking, shaky breaths, tears. Road trips with frequent stops for tissues from gas station bathrooms. Arrival, small sad smiles with family, a funeral home and visitation, and looking away as the casket is lowered. Most of all, the feeling that no one understands.

Years before Jesus entered the world as a baby, people longed for Him. In the Old Testament, after Job lost virtually everything, he lamented, “He [God] is not a man like me that I might answer him.... If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both” (Job 9:32-33). Job wished for someone who could see his point of view and go between him and God. Fast-forward to the gospel of John where Jesus wept. He understood grief. John 11 tells us that Jesus loved Lazarus, and so when Lazarus died, Jesus went to be with Mary and Martha. He had compassion on them. He entered into their pain, felt their grief, and then did something about it. He came to earth to mediate between God and man, just like Job had hoped for.

Jesus understands. He feels our pain. When He saw people grieving, He grieved with them. Because Jesus feels our pain, we can be comforted — and because of that, we can comfort others, sending them to the gospel of John to illustrate the beautiful truth that Jesus feels our pain and cares for us.

God, thank you for sending Jesus. Not only does Jesus’ resurrection offer me eternal life, but because Jesus became a man, He feels my pain. I am grateful for that today. Amen.

Go Deeper ― Chances are, you know someone in your life that is grieving the loss of a loved one. Take a moment to write them a note of encouragement, telling them that Jesus cares about their pain and you do too.

Read Further — If you have never experienced the death of someone close, this article may help you understand how a person you know who has lost someone may feel. Then you can better minister to them.

Tags: The Gospel of John John 11
Photo Credit: Adrien Gonin