Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” At first glance, this may sound a little bit strange and maybe a bit unsettling. What do I have to mourn about, my life is going fine….right? Maybe there is a little bit more to this than meets the eye. Maybe Jesus was letting us know that deep inside we need a little bit more than we think.
The greek word translated to mourn is pentheo, which means to grieve, or even to wail. We have all experienced this with the death of a loved one or some other great loss that has occurred in our lives. Grieving in this context is the coming to grips with the loss that we have experienced in the natural part of our lives, but in that Jesus saw fit to include this in the beatitudes, we have to take a look and see if maybe he had some deeper meaning in mind when he spoke.
God suffered a great loss when his prized creation made in his own image rebelled against him and brought sin into the world. God could no longer have the face to face fellowship with the man; sin could not dwell in the presence of the Holy God. Death would pass upon man and the spirit of man would be held captive by the Devil in the Abode of the Dead for thousands of years before Christ would shed his blood on Calvary and open the way for man to enter into the presence of the Almighty. God’s grief is evident throughout the Old Testament writings as he dealt with fallen man to bring him to the place of redemption. I am inclined to believe that God even wailed over the tremendous loss that he suffered on the path to redemption. But God comforted himself with the knowledge that the day would come when the Christ would pay the price to redeem mankind and God would once again be able to fellowship with his creation that he made to be his special love.
So how does this apply to us? Should not the knowledge of the years of our lives lost to sin and pain we caused God by not walking with him not cause our hearts to mourn and grieve, should be not even wail at the terrible separation from God that we experienced for so much of our lives? I think this is what Jesus was getting at when he spoke these words. Consider what we have lost by not knowing Jesus, consider the loss of living in ways that not only caused God pain but took a heavy toll on our physical beings. This is where the mourning, grieving and wailing will surely begin.
Where is our comfort? Consider these words that Jesus spoke in John 14, “
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
Jesus was looking past the problem to his divine solution, he would freely give his life for us, and then he would send us the Holy Spirit to dwell within us and give us comfort on our path to Heaven. He would heal our hurts, salve our pain and fill us with power to overcome the sin that so easily besets us. God would have us in fellowship with Him on a daily basis and his and our grief would be turned into eternal joy!