Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

October 29, 2021: Not Immune to Grief

“When Jesus heard what had happened, He withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place” (Matt. 14:13, NIV).

Are you grieving today? This pain cuts to the core and is deeper than just a bad day. It’s bigger than a pint of ice cream or a walk around the block that can handle. Sadly, we may feel as though we must carry these emotions alone. It’s in these times that the support of loved ones, and even complete strangers, is so needed.

To be honest, in the back of my mind I don’t think I ever pictured Jesus grieving. Sure, there’s that “Jesus wept” memory verse in Sabbath School we as kids so desired to memorize, but why would Jesus ever be sad? He was so closely connected to the Father that how could He possibly ever experience that human ache? Plus, we know He was fully aware that His time on this planet would be relatively short, and that we’d soon go to live with Him in heaven and never ever mourn again.

It was while preparing to lead a worship some time ago that a verse I’d read many times before caught my attention. And it still speaks to me.

In Matthew 14:12, Jesus is told that His cousin John has just been beheaded. The idea of Jesus being immune to depth of emotion over death melted as I read what followed. In verse 13, we see Jesus quietly withdrawing to a solitary place to grieve. Jesus was sad enough that He needed to be alone to deal with this loss. He wasn’t immune. He grieved deeply—just as we do.

Jesus, remind us that You are not only with us in our grief, but that even You grieve too. Amen.

Chandler Riley is a member of the Triadelphia church in Maryland.