“Jesus personally responds to our fuming and sadness. Feisty Martha got to see Jesus get angry at death. Tenderhearted Mary got to see him cry. Two unique women witnessed two unique responses from their Lord and Friend. Jesus, who is the fullness of the image of God, not only sympathized with them, he did so according to their uniqueness. Jesus arched his back toward the bully for Martha’s sake. Then he shed tears for Mary’s sake. Perhaps Nicholas Wolsterstorff was thinking of Jesus’ tears when he wrote this reflection in response to the premature death of his son:
We strain to hear [God in our sorrows]. But instead of hearing an answer we catch the sight of God himself scraped and torn. Through our tears we see the tears of God . . . Perhaps his sorrow is splendor.
“Jesus is the resurrection and the life. The ones who believe in him, though they die, yet shall they live. He will call them forth from their graves just as he called Lazarus from the grave mere minutes after getting angry and crying about Lazarus’s death.
“Jesus wants to fixe everything that’s broken about us and everything that’s broken around us. But before he does this, he wants us to know that he is with us and for us in what’s broken about us and around us. He shares our situation. He is a warrior and a champion against the bully, but also much more. He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother, a mother hen who gathers her fragile chicks under her wings, and an advocate who shares our grief and tears — especially and ironically, during the times when he seems most distant is a sympathetic realist.
“Jesus, the sympathetic realist, reminds us that everything is broken. At least it is for now.”
— Scott Sauls, Jesus Outside the Lines: A Way Forward for Those Who are Tired of Taking Sides (Tyndale, pp.161-162)