Tears – what are they? The physician would say that tears are a combination of sodium chloride, phosphate of lime, mucus and water.
However, regardless of their compound, tears express the emotional state of the heart. Tears are the bleeding of the heart that runs deep. They play an unforeseen ministry in our lives. The tears of the saints are observed by God. Psalms 56:8 Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?
The Bible provides accounts of weeping and the pages are coursed with tears. Since the fall of man, sorrow is universal and it may enter any heart where no means of man can prevent it. Satan has caused much havoc, and has no mercy in his plan. The debtors of sin ( the world ) reap discontentment, pain, distress, sorrow, anguish, and despair… because of sin, which is the Adamic state. However, all these atrocities can be overcome when drawn to the Saviour for salvation. 1 Samuel 22:2 And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.
The Lord was a Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief Isaiah 53:3. He knew exactly what it was like to grieve and to weep. Just the same as He knows exactly how to comfort those who are grieved or distressed. Hebrews 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
Succour - Literally, to run to, or run to support; hence, to help or relieve when in difficulty, want or distress; to assist and deliver from suffering; as, to succour a besieged city; to succour prisoners.
Aid; help; assistance; particularly, assistance that relieves and delivers from difficulty, want or distress.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ
A Christian needs God’s mercy and comfort when trials and tribulations are at the door. The process of the Refiners fire helps us to comfort others in their trials. However, do not expect God to comfort you for suffering for the flesh or for the world. ( 1Peter 14:19 )
The weeping prophet Jeremiah, expresses a heart that felt God’s sorrow and wept His tears (Amos 3:7) The words of scripture below reveal that Jeremiah wept for his Nation and for the pride of Judah.
Jeremiah 9:1 Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!
Jeremiah 13:17 But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD'S flock is carried away captive.
Tears are first recorded in (Genesis 21:16) – and approximately two thousand years later, tears are recorded again in the New Testament (Matthew 2:18.)
Tears of a mother – Weak with fatigue, exposure and dehydration, Hagar weeps for fear that death might come to her child Ishmael. Genesis 21:16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.
Tears of a Nation – Rachel weeping for her children was spoken by the weeping prophet (Jeremiah 31:15) Rachel here is figuratively picturing ALL women in Bethlehem by their ancestor Rachel. Matthew 2:18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
Tears of a King – Hezekiah wept in the face of death on his bed
2 Kings 20:5 Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD.
Tears of a Queen – Esther expressed tears showing devotion, love and purpose of heart. Her concern was only for her people.
Esther 8:3 And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews.
Tears of a brother - Joseph wept the yearning of his brother Benjamin.
Genesis 43:30 And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there.
Tears of a sister - Mary wept in sorrow, grieving the loss of her brother Lazarus. Bereavement of a loved one causes much pain and heartache for the sufferer. John 11:33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,
Tears of a sinner - Tears of repentance Luke 7:38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
Tears of a pastor and preacher - The heart of the Apostle Paul expresses genuine sincerity.
Acts 20:19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:
It was imperative that the Saviour Jesus Christ came down from His Heavenly Place to save us from the grips of sin.
When Jesus Christ (who is just as eternal as God the Father, with no diminishing of His Deity) became flesh and dwelt among us, His Deity wasn’t humanised, nor was his Manhood deified; BECAUSE He was God Man. He had two distinct natures in One Person .
Humanity and Deity
With the complexity of the personality of the Incarnate Son of God, there was manifestation of tears. However, we must contend for the full humanity as well as the full Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. He cried both as the Son of God and as the Son of Man.
The Holy Spirit reveals in scripture that he was manifest in the flesh. He was made in the likeness of Adam’s ‘INNOCENT’ flesh (but with no earthly blood) and NOT made in the likeness of “Adam’s "SINFUL flesh” (Jesus’ Blood was God’s own Blood). (Acts 20:28) He bore our sickness of sin (Matthew 9:12) and carried our sorrows and cares. (1Pe 5:7) He died for our sins (1 Peter 2:24 ) Because of the Adamic state the Son of God tasted death for every man Hebrews 2:9.
Matthew 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. What a rebuke and yet God in the flesh (1Timothy 3:16) is being tempted. The Lord answers from ( De 6:16 )
Satan’s temptations are all answered from the Mosaic Law
It is one thing for the Godhead to discuss what a sinner should and shouldn’t do and another for a man here under God’s Law to try to keep those laws which are holy and true. This is a valid point that the accuser, (the Devil ) would make to our Lord. So for the Devil NOT to accuse the Lord of any “malpractice” so to speak, the Man Christ Jesus had to suffer all things .
The Son of Man had to be tempted by Satan in the wilderness to fulfil all the requirements of the PERFECT SAVIOUR. He was INDEED complete. Hebrews 2:16-17 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
The Lord Jesus Christ learned obedience by the things he had suffered and was willing to do the Father’s will. Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
Hebrews 10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
Hebrews 10:9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God…
The Lord Jesus Christ had to overcome His Accuser, but to triumph He had to suffer, bleed and die as a Man.
As a Man He came down here to suffer and hunger, thirst and weep, to bleed and to die. Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
As the Son of Man - He got tired just like we do, thus showing the Humanity side of His nature.
Matthew 8:24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
As the Son of God - He does NOT get tired thus showing the Deity side of His nature.
Isaiah 40:28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
As the Son of Man - He knew what it was to be hungry.
Matthew 21:18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.
As the Son of God - Hunger was not an issue.
Psalms 50:12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.
The Bleeding of a Broken Heart
The Saviour’s tears reveal that His Heart was with feeling of our infirmities and sorrows. He was compassionate and desirous to deliver us from our sins. His ministry to the Jews (Mt 15:24) was a ministry of tears as He wept over sinners.
Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
There are three specific times in scripture where the Lord wept. (John 11:35 Luke 19:41 Mt 26:37)
Number three is the number of ‘unity’ and a threefold record of the Saviour’s tears.
GOD is a Tri-une Being (three Persons in ONE) reveals the tears of the Godhead. God the Son ( Jesus the Visible Body) God the Holy Ghost ( Holy Spirit) God the Father ( The Invisible Soul )
The town of Bethany was like another home to our Lord and He had gone there to face a family bereavement. The Son of Man wept for a departed loved one, namely Lazarus.
Lazarus was a friend of the Lord who had two sisters called Mary and Martha. These sisters were the ones that sent word to the Lord of Lazarus’ illness. Knowing His friend, Lazarus, would be dead before His arrival, after four days post, the Lord spoke with Mary and Martha who were deeply grieved and weeping and also saw the Jews that followed on in mourning. They showed the Lord where Lazarus had been laid. Jesus wept. (John 11:35) tears of bereavement that coursed His cheek. Though He was the resurrection and the Life (John 11:25) as the Son of Man His heart was full of compassion.
In essence this was ‘Domestic Sorrow’ that brought those tears to the eyes of the Son of Man. and shows the tears of the Son of Man. (The Body of the Godhead.)
Luke 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Tears of the Son of Man over the city that rejected their Messiah. The Lord wept for a doomed city.. Luke 19:42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
In His divine foreknowledge he knew his Nation was to be overthrown. Luke 13:34-35 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: …
The Lord had sorrow for his Nation as He looked upon Jerusalem and wept because of their distance away from the Father. His people didn’t know a GOOD thing until it was gone. It’s the usual case that most people do not feel dependence on God until trouble strikes. God is made the last resort instead of the first. Psalms 137:1-4 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the LORD'S song in a strange land?
As mentioned earlier, the Saviour expressed emotion with tears of sorrow, heartache and pain in the flesh. The Old Testament prophets had the Oracles of God and likewise felt and expressed these same emotions.
The tears of ‘National’ Sorrow were abundant and shows the Holy Spirit of the Godhead. The Spirit’s ministry is to the Nations. – (Genesis 1:2: Psalm 104:30: John 16:8: Ro 8:26: Re 2:7 )
Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
Hebrews 5:7 is a reference to the Garden of Gethsemane.
Our Lord had tears for a darkened cross. Matthew 26:39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: …
Why did he pray for the cup to pass from him? ( see Crucifixion page)
After all, He came down from heaven to die for mankind. He was born to die for us!
He set his face to go to Jerusalem (Lu 9:51).
He prophesied his death to others? (Mt 16:23 Mt 20:18 Mr 10:33)
He knew he was going to be crucified (Mt 26:2)
The Old Testament prophets prophesied his death (Psalm 22)
Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
The Lord Jesus was very familiar in what was going to happen Isaiah 53 is a great gospel promise.
Christ says to Peter “the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” John 18:11
We can find this passion in the Garden of Gethsemane Matthew 26:36-41 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
The Lord Jesus prays the second time the same as the third time. Matthew 26:42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
The cup did not pass from Him. He took the cup. Jeremiah 25:15 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it.
Jeremiah 25:27 Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue, and fall, ..
Hebrews 5:7 … was heard in that he feared;
IN WISDOM - The Son of Man feared as in “ The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom Ps 111:10” He learned obedience Heb 5:8.
The Soul Sorrow shows the tears of the Father. The Son was the instrument of the sorrow and in wisdom was obedient to the Father’s will. The Son set His face like flint (Isa 50:7) but the Father bore the pain for the suffering of HIS Son as there was no other way to make atonement for us.
There are commentators who have two different trains of thought.
Some would have it that the Lord prayed for fear of the Devil taking His physical life in the Garden of Gethsemane. They also suggest that the Devil did not want the Saviour to go to the cross.
The other train of thought is that Christ prayed that He would not stay in the grave.
The Bible makes it very clear according to the references below that neither of the two can be so.
1 Corinthians 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
Acts 2:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
Psalms 18:5 … the snares of death prevented me.
Psalms 21:4 He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever.
Psalms 49:15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.
Revelation 1:18 … Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
GOD promised Eternal life to Him before Genesis 1:1
Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
What was in that cup that the Lord speaks of? It was the wrath of God that was poured out on sin. Psalms 75:8 For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them. Our Lord was to drink down (metaphorically speaking) the filthy, wicked, abominable sins of the world. He was made a curse for us (Gal 3:13), and God’s wrath was upon Him as a wicked man.
The Son of Man resisted sin unto the shedding of blood.
Hebrews 12:3-4 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
He became sin for us and came out of GOD’S presence; but He DIDN’T WILL HIMSELF to come out of GOD’S presence. That would have been sin. If the Lord deliberately chose to go out from the presence of God, he would have been choosing to sin. And yet, by His knowing the vile depravity of man in that spiritual cup, he also knew he was to come away from GOD’S presence. There was no other way to bridge the gap between sinful man and God,
God the Father cannot have any unclean thing in HIS presence.
The Son of Man had to go into the darkness according to God the Father’s will as it was the only way to overcome ‘death’. The Lord Jesus was obedient unto death Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
Three times his prayer was “nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”(v41), “thy will be done” (v 42, 44)
The‘first’Adam sinned and GOD drove out this man because of his sin. (Genesis 3:24)
Similarly, at the cross, GOD had to drive out the Son of Man from HIS presence because he had to partake of that spiritual cup that been since the fall of man back in the Garden of Eden.
So in the depths of torment and sorrow at Calvary the soul of Jesus Christ “cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46
The precious blood was first shed in the Garden of Gethsemane. The opening of Jesus Christ’s veins was pressed through the pores of his body.
Luke 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
It wasn’t pin pricks of blood that was shed hence “great drops of blood” fell to the ground.
The ground is the devil’s ‘right away’ when Adam fell. One would say “The devil’s fare-ground” Satan is the temporary ‘god of this world’ (2Co 4:4 )
God has given the world to him. (Jeremiah 27:5-10 )
Luke 4:6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
The power of death - is in his clutches too, although it is the Lord Himself who gives the Devil permission to take a man’s life. (Deuteronomy 32:39: Job 1:12 )
God cursed that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, that beguiled Eve Genesis 3:14 …upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
And cursed the ground Gen 3:17 because of Adam’s sin. For the man, his life is one of sorrow. His living is made of toil and sweat.
The Devil has had a hold on fallen man since. Our Adamic nature is susceptible to all the things that the Devil is (John 8:44)
Our Lord was reminded of the sin that entered the world when he hungered. He desired to eat of the fig tree, but when he came to it there was nothing there but leaves; so He cursed it. (Mark 11:21)
And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. Why would our Lord curse the fig tree just for it to wither away? It must have been significant for Him to do that. The cursing of the fig tree has caused much comment.
Adam and Eve became sinners. Their spirits died. The Lord said “Genesis 2:17… in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. In the day they “ate thereof” they DIED. The death was NOT physical death. Adam and Eve died ‘spiritually’ and “ Ye must be born again” John 3:7 because lost sinners are spiritually dead in trespasses and sins. Ephesians 2:1
The ‘first’ Adam also came to a fig tree but not to eat of it. (Gen 3:7) They came for its leaves because they were fallen sinners! They needed those leaves to cover the nakedness of their fallen soul. With the ‘Fig tree’ being a picture of ‘self righteousness’ they put on ‘self righteousness’ and disregarded GOD’S righteousness. The church goers of today are much like that, they put on their own self – righteousness to cover their sinfulness. They try to hide from God.
The Lord Jesus Christ had no need of a covering, as He was without sin. The Lord had no need of the fig leaves for HE IS Righteous. (John 17:25)
So the Lord condemned the fig tree to wither and die, which pictures the sinners at the Great White Throne judgement trying to put their last gasp case defence for their self righteousness. Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: Our righteousness are as ‘filthy rags’ Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
“The Fig Tree” is used to picture Israel in (Jeremiah 24:2, 5, 8 Amos 8:2 Hosea 9:10) and is the only tree that the Lord cursed.
Tears are last mentioned in Rev 7:17 and Rev 21:4.
Revelation 7:17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away
There shall be weeping in heaven on two occasions.
1. At the Judgment Seat of Christ
Tears will flow when the saint sees what he/she COULD have done for the Lord Jesus and failed to do. Tears will flow when we see our loss of rewards and the crowns we could have won and didn’t. Our tears will flow because of the time wasted that we could have redeemed.
2. The Great White Throne Judgment
Tears of the saint will flow when the Christian see lost people to whom they could have witnesses to perishing and going to hell. All lost loved one, friends, relatives, neighbours cast into the Lake of Fire.
The Ministry of Tears are no more
Those tears of heartache from whatever reason are to be no more. All those trials and tribulations, persecutions will have been proved from the time of testing. The balm of soothing will be placed on the wounded hearts by the LAMB of GOD HIMSELF
No more tears because there are no more reasons for tears. We have all felt the bitterness and hardness of bereavement. We weep because of sorrow, but Bless God, the root of tears shall be dealt with along with the fruit of tears! …“for the former things are passed away”. Re 21:4
1. Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure;
Save from wrath and make me pure.
2. Not the labours of my hands
Can fulfil thy law's commands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and thou alone.
3. Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to thee for dress;
Helpless, look to thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Saviour, or I die.
4. While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See thee on thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee.
John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.