“Jesus was one that wept with those that wept. And indeed it was mere pity that brought Him into the world, and induced Him not only to shed tears but to shed His blood.
He poured out His blood as water on the earth, out of compassion to the poor, miserable children of men.
And when do we ever read of any one person coming to Him when on earth, with a heavy heart, or under any kind of sorrow or distress for pity or help, but what met with a kind and compassionate reception?
And He has the same compassion now He is ascended into glory. There is still the same encouragement for bereaved ones to go and spread their sorrows before Him.
Afflicted persons love to speak of their sorrows to them that have had experience of affliction, and know what sorrow is. But there is none on earth or in heaven that ever had so much experience of sorrow as Christ.
Therefore He knows how to pity the sorrowful. Christ is able to afford all that help that is needed. His power and His wisdom are as sufficient as His purpose, and answerable to His compassions.
By the bowels of His mercies, the love and tenderness of His heart, He is disposed to help those that are in affliction. And His ability is answerable to His disposition.
He is able to support the heart under the heaviest sorrows, and to give light in the greatest darkness. He can divide the thickest cloud with beams of heavenly light and comfort.
He is one that gives songs in the night, and turns the shadow of death into the morning: he has power to make up the loss of those that are bereaved…
Persons under sorrowful bereavements are ready to go and lay open their sorrows to them that they think will be ready to pity them, though they know they can but pity them, and cannot help them.
How much more is here in such a case to induce us to go to Jesus, who is not only so ready to pity, but so able to help, able abundantly more than to fill up the breach, and able to turn all our sorrows into joy!”
–Jonathan Edwards, “The Sorrows of the Bereaved Spread Before Jesus,” in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 2. Ed. Edward Hickman (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1834/1998), 2:966-967. The entire sermon may be read here. Edwards preached this sermon on Matthew 14:12 on September 2, 1741, at the funeral of the Rev. William Williams.