Humans are emotional beings. Crying is one of the ways to express grief. Some people even cry when they’re happy. The Bible tells us to cry with others.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep (Romans 12:5).
But what about God? Does he cry too? When does he cry? Does he cry with us?
Does God Cry?
Let’s look at what Jesus did.
Jesus answered: “Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, Show us the Father?’” (John 14:9).
Jesus is God in human form and came to reveal the Father, so if Jesus cried, that tells us God cries. During his earthly ministry, Jesus did cry, so yes, God does cry.
Scripture records three specific times Jesus cried.
When Does God Cry?
Looking at when Jesus cried, we’ll also learn why God cries.
1. While the crowds were celebrating Jesus on what we call Palm Sunday — Jesus cried because he knew something they didn’t know.
When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace — but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side (Luke 19:37-43).
Jesus cried for his people because he knew Jerusalem was going to be destroyed and it broke his heart.
2. Jesus cried in his time alone with the Father.
During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission (Hebrews 5:7).
Jesus being fully human cried feeling his own pain and suffering.
3. Jesus cried when Lazarus died.
When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept (John 11:32-35).
Jesus wept is the shortest verse in the Bible and has been subject to speculation of why he wept.
- Some say he wept because he loved Lazarus.
- Others say he wept in frustration due to the lack of understanding of Mary and Martha.
- Another possibility is that he shared Mary’s pain and cried with her.
That last one fits the character of God revealed in the Old Testament.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3).
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book (Psalm 56:8, NLT).
And in a prophecy pointing to Jesus:
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted (Isaiah 53:4).
Does God Still Cry?
Before Jesus returned to the Father, he promised to not leave us alone comfortless. He said he’d send someone to be with us, to come alongside us. This is the Holy Spirit or Paraclete.
In the Greek, the term is paráklētos from two words, pará, meaning “from close-beside,” and kaléō, meaning “make a call.”
This term is translated in multiple ways.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever (John 14:16, NIV).
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever (John 14:16, NKJV).
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (John 14:16, KJV).
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever (John 14:16, CSB).
Another translation of the Greek word is Consoler. The Holy Spirit is always with us and not only cries with us but so much more.
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Danielle Bernock is an international, award-winning author, coach, and speaker who helps people embrace their value and heal their souls through the power of the love of God. She’s written Emerging With Wings, A Bird Named Payn, Love’s Manifesto, Because You Matter, and hosts the Victorious Souls Podcast. A long-time follower of Christ, Danielle lives with her husband in Michigan near her adult children and grandchildren. For more information or to connect with Danielle https://www.daniellebernock.com/