Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The gospel writers reveal to us that our Lord and Savior openly wept on three different occasions. As you remember, the Lord poured out a heavy torrent of tears at the tomb of Lazarus, as He stood ‘face to face’ with the last enemy of death! Our Savior was groaning, in His Spirit, over the horrific visible consequences that the reign of sin had brought into the human race. Surely, He was also weeping, out of His compassionate love toward those 2 mourning sisters, Mary and Martha. We can be assured that our Lord was deeply touched with the feeling of the infirmities of this family who were so precious to Him. As He watched them grieving over their departed brother, Lazarus, Jesus knew an intimate fellowship with their sufferings and sorrows. After all, the prophet had testified that the Savior would be a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. The Lord has commanded us to “weep with those who weep”; and we know that He would never give us a command that He did not perfectly obey! However, I also believe that the Lord Jesus was shedding tears of sorrow for others around Him that day. He was weeping for those who were filled with unbelief. The great “I AM” stood in their midst, but their minds were thoroughly blinded by their own wicked skepticism. His heart must have been broken over their lack of faith in Him. Yet, they were about to witness the truth that ‘HE IS THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE’!
I believe that the Lord’s most profound and intense agony of tears occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane! The Lord of Glory gazed into that awful cup, which represented the unmitigated wrath of God; which would be poured out on Him, as our sinless substitute. He was facing the holy fury of God which was determined to be fixed against all, for ‘His law that we had shattered’. This fury was about to fall on the sinless lamb of God, on behalf of every sinner who would ever repent and believe the glorious gospel. Jesus, our Great High Priest, offered up tears, mingled with His bloody sweat, as He looked into that cup. His soul was exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death, as He willingly accepted to take the judgment that His people deserved, upon Himself!
But there is another passage that portrays a weeping Savior. In Luke 19:41, we find the following words, “When He came to Jerusalem, He beheld the city, and He wept over it.” The Lord Jesus looked over this people who had missed their time of visitation. He was reflecting on the masses of humanity, who had resisted His teachings, rejected His invitations, and refused His pleadings. He knew that His just wrath and fierce judgment would shortly fall on this city. In only a few years, the Roman Army, led by General Titus, would march into that place and slaughter over 1 million Jews, under the wrath of the Lamb! As He looked over this lost city, His eyes affected His heart; and then His heart affected His eyes. In the original language, this passage depicts Jesus as ‘wailing uncontrollably’ over the lostness of Jerusalem! Earlier, in the Gospel of Luke, we are told that Jesus cried out to them saying, “How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings; but you were not willing.”
The Lord knew the judgment they would face because of their rejection of Him; still His prophetic eyes were overflowing with the sobbing of tenderness and compassion for them. Through His tears, we clearly see God’s earnest desires for the salvation of sinners through the broken heart of God the Son! What a vivid picture of the reality that God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but He desires that the wicked would turn from their own way and live. The fact that the ‘wailings of the Lord Jesus’ overpowered His righteous indignation against their sin, clearly reveals to us the heart of God for lost sinners! Friends, we must not forget that the Good Shepherd rejoices over one sinner that comes to repentance. Yet, it is that same Good Shepherd that is anguishing over these who have gone astray, unto certain condemnation!
This passage is such a powerful challenge for those who are followers of the Lord Jesus. IF we are going to be on mission with our Savior, certainly we see that we desperately need to walk in intimacy with Jesus; so that we, at least to some degree, would come to know His sympathetic tenderness and passionate burden for lost souls.
Do you have a burden for lost souls? How long has it been since the Lord broke your heart over someone within the sphere of the influence of your life?
IF we are walking in an intimate, marriage, relationship with the Man of Sorrows, certainly we should experience some familiarity with this travail of Jesus for lost sinners. Charles Spurgeon once rightly said, “There must be a travail, before there will be spiritual birth. If you want to win in prayer, you must weep in prayer”. Friends, if the great ambassador entered into Jerusalem with tears, should we not enter into evangelistic intercession with tears? I am submitting to you that nothing less than a “passion for Jesus himself” will infuse us with a passionate passion for souls! We ought not to look at the desperate condition of our nation, only with some political view point! We ought to look at the desperate condition of our nation, with tears for the vast millions of lost souls who are living on the brink of eternity, without a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus. Our hearts should be broken over the countless numbers of souls around us that are “living without Christ”; and our hearts should be shattered that those same souls are in grave danger of “dying without Christ”. Amy Carmichael, missionary to India, who served for 55 years without a furlough, said it in this way,
Oh, for a passionate passion for souls
Oh, for a pity that yearns
Oh, for a love that loves unto death
Oh, for a heart that burns
Oh Lord God, would you not baptize us with a passionate passion for souls? The Bible tells us that the
judgment of sinners will be a reality, for God’s justice demands it. Yet still, we see the mercy of the Son
of God wailing profusely for those who are under His wrath! Oh, that this truth might encourage us
that “God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the sinner should turn from his ways
and live”. May it also encourage us with the truth, that God desires that all sinners would come to a “saving knowledge”
of the truth. May this truth inspire us “never to think of the judgment of blatant rebels without also having a
holy anguish for their souls”. May this reality cause us to know a sorrow and a grief in our hearts, for those perishing
around us. May we be compelled to be involved in the evangelistic intercession for their souls!
THANK YOU Our hearts are filled to overflowing in gratitude and love for all the things the Lord is doing. He continues to open doors to share the glorious gospel all over the world. People from all over the world are downloading the sermons found on our website, as well as on Sermonaudio.com. We stand in awe of how the Lord is getting His Word out to hungry souls. We just want to thank you for your love, your prayers and your financial support. Thank you for your cooperation and partnership with us in this great commission. Even this month, the Lord has used your gifts to enable 3 Kenyan pastors to hold a Christ-Centered Evangelism Conference in Uganda; to help build needed space on an Ugandan pastor’s home; to help supply cement to lay a floor in a church in Kenya; support 18 church planters in Cuba; support Christian rehab centers in Russia; help with an orphanage in Kenya; support of pastors in Africa, purchase Bibles for a group of needy senior citizens, and help a Spanish Mission work. Also, we were able to give away hundreds of tracts, workbooks and sermon CD’s here in the south. These are just a few ways you have been involved in recent weeks. We hope you will be encouraged to know that your labor, your prayers and your gifts have not been in vain. The Lord is using you greatly, not only to encourage our hearts, but also as a vessel; helping us carry out the work He has called us to do. Dear friend, our desire is that this newsletter will not only encourage you, but also challenge you, to know Him more in your intimate walk with the Lord; as the Lord continues to challenge us in this way. May we increasingly become passionately passionate, even with tears, for the souls of men. Then one day those who sow in Tears, will reap in Joy.
II Cor. 4:5
Ed & Dianne Lacy