There is one thing in common with sports, no matter the age, the sex of the athlete, or the sport – tears. Tears flow when athletes suffer a crushing loss; they flow when they rejoice over an outstanding win; they flow when they announce that their career is over. Crying is probably one of the rawest emotions that an athlete can express. The flowing tears often come after devoting years, and thousands of hours, to the sport that they love; a sport that they, and many others, have poured their lives into.
While I’m sure Jesus cried more than twice in his life (certainly as a child), there are two specifically recorded occasions where Jesus wept: once where he wept after the death of his friend Lazarus (John 11:35), and once where he wept for the city of Jerusalem. “41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 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.” (Luke 19: 41-42). Jesus wept because he loved.
I feel we live in a similar time today, a time where we must weep over the state of our cities, and the state of our countries. Terrorism, racial tensions, shootings, division seem to be the norm of our day. Behavior which not long ago would have been seen as base, as crude, or as sin, is now openly flaunted and celebrated on the streets of our cities. Yes, it is a time to weep for our cities.
While it is appropriate to weep, as Christians we cry with a sense of joy and hope because we also know the rest of the story. Our loving God saw the hopelessness and wretched sin of the people and sent his only son to die an undeserved death, so that we might live. “16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3: 16-17)
As you traverse in an increasingly sinful world, like me, you may often become overwhelmed by the evil you see and become disillusioned by a world that seems to be moving further away from Jesus. In such times it is necessary to raise your head to the heavens to the one who has the ONLY answer for our world today. While it may not be politically correct in the world we live in today, the Bible makes it clear; there is only one hope, only one way, and that is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6; 1 Timothy 2:5).
It is important to note that as Christians we are called to preach the GOOD NEWS, not the condemnation news. The “good news”, also referred to as the “gospel” in English, comes from a literal translation of the Greek word used in the Bible euangelion. This Greek word means “glad tidings” and you see it being used almost 100 times in the New Testament. John the Baptist, Jesus, and the disciples preached the good news. The good news is this: while sin separated us from God (Romans 3:23), Jesus died on the cross and paid the price for our sins (Colossians 1:20). The gospel is good news because we are reconciled to God and brought into fellowship with him through our faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). All who receive Jesus Christ into their hearts become children of God (John 1:12-13), as we are adopted into God’s family (Romans 8:14-17). It is a love story (John 3:16). Unashamedly preach the good news to the world today!