Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out – the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” (Luke 7:11-13)
We’ve been to funerals and have sent sympathy cards, struggling to find words of comfort. Having gone through death and sorrow, we empathize. We often say, “He’s in a better place,” or “He’s not suffering anymore,” or, “If there’s anything I can do, let me know.” I don’t believe any of us has said, “Don’t cry.” Crying is an essential part of addressing grief.
But this is a different situation. As the only son approaches his grave, death and sorrow meet Life, and it creates a beautiful picture. (Nain means beauty in Greek.) Hopelessness is replaced with hope. Only Jesus can provide hope that will make us not cry.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the hope of eternal life, being with God and our loved ones in heaven, a place where tears are not shed. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.