Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
This particular passage in the Bible is one that most non-theologians do not understand. I know that for years I struggled with this scripture. Yes, I agree that those mourning will be comforted, but does that make them blessed? Take a parent who has lost a child, for example. How would comfort from God or from friends move them to say, “We are so blessed”?
Yes, many have come through extremely sorrowful times, and have grown closer to God through that time, and so they are blessed. But that is not the case for all. There has to be something else, something different, something better that Jesus meant when he said made this statement. And there is!
If you read the last post, Jesus referred to the “poor in spirit” as those who recognize their wretched state, how being in control of their lives has really been a disaster, and they finally turn to the One who was standing nearby ready to help when asked – God.
Today read the next thing Jesus said to the multitude of listeners, “blessed are those who mourn”. It is meaningful that this statement is the second in the list of “blessed.”
First a person is blessed when they understand they are lost and need God.
Second, however, the recognition of that is followed closely by realizing what our sin has cost our God – the horrific death of His son on the cross. We mourn because we realize it is our sin that was responsible for the 40 lashes that ripped the skin on his back wide open. It was our sin that gave Jesus the crown of thorns that cut into his scalp. It was our sin that made necessary the nails in his feet and hands.
Who crucified Jesus? We did. You and I, and when we let that sink in, we end up on our knees in sorrow. The word “mourn” here came from a Greek word that meant a deep, heart-wrenching mourning. It is the type of mourning that causes one to groan out loud as they bend over in anguish. If we truly grasp the damage of our sin, we will enter that place of mourning.
But Jesus tells us we will be comforted. Indeed we are, because we know we have a risen King, not one still in the tomb. When Jesus broke free from the grave, he smashed the head of the snake, by ending death forever for those who believe in Him. Our bodies will return to the earth, but our souls and spirits will go on to live forever with the King of Kings, our Lord, Jesus.
For those of us who have lost loved ones, we also receive comfort in knowing we will see them again.
So yes, Jesus did mean that those mourning the loss of their loved ones will be comforted., but he meant so much more. He meant that we, when we discover the cost of sin, our sin, will be comforted as well.
Thank you Jesus.