Great Stuff — Papa, why does no one cry when Jesus dies?

This was found on Pastor Philip Hoppe’s blog, Meditations of my Heart. Pastor Hoppe serves as pastor at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Ellsworth Kansas. Besides being a pastor, he is husband of one beautiful wife and father to five children. We recently posted his article The Child who Cries in Church Dies in Church.


Papa, why does no one cry when Jesus dies?

This is a question my eight year daughter asked me before Good Friday service tonight. And it is a good question. An important one. One that cuts deep to reveal sin.

She has been to many visitations and funerals as a pastor’s kid and at each one there is always someone crying. Someone mourning the loss. Someone pondering what the death means. And yet, each year on Good Friday no one cries. It struck her as odd. It probably should.

In all my years of Good Friday services, I can only ever remember seeing one person cry. And that is bit strange. I hope that the lack of emotion can just be explained away due to the fact that I am usually surrounded by Germans who would rather die than cry. But I have seen even those people cry at funerals of others.

But this is not a funeral, you say. It is only a remembrance of a death. It is, but many tears are also cried on the anniversaries of the death of others. Anyone who knows a widow well knows how those remembrances can move a grieving one to tears.

So, should we all feign tears next year so my daughter will understand the importance of his death? Well, perhaps, for the kids’ sake alone, even feigned tears might be instructive.

But the truth is our lack of emotion likely truly reveals a deeper issue. Our affection for Jesus is often simply lacking. Our head loves him. Our mouths confess that we love him. But our heart are often not connected to Him as they should be.

He ought to be more precious to us than any other. Yes, even more precious than a husband of many years to a wife. And so when we remember his death, it is right that we should be moved.

Is our faith judged solely on emotions? Of course not. But if other much less important things moves us to tears or joy and our relationship to Jesus does not, there is a problem. And if we confess that to God, then as he forgives us and raises us to new life perhaps we won’t have to feign tears at all.

And my daughter will not have to ask, “Papa, why does no one cry when Jesus dies?”

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord,, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at


Great Stuff — Papa, why does no one cry when Jesus dies? — 4 Comments

  1. Some of us, do shed heartfelt tears on Good Friday, every Good Friday, every year.

    Both in private & in public. It’s a shame, both this little lamb & her Papa, haven’t seen many who do. Many have, do, & will still.

  2. Good words….I admit, my head and mouth confess far more than my heart does most times. :-\ Darn German genes.

  3. Perhaps because we know how it ends. We know that Jesus won’t stay dead. Good Friday is not a funeral for Jesus.

    For Christ is risen!

  4. Getting through “Go to Dark Gethsemane” without a tear and a tightness in my throat is not possible. When that stops happening, someone should check my pulse.

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