What route do you take through grief? Elizabeth Kubler-Ross once penned the roadmap through grief. It starts with denial, then goes to anger, bargaining through to acceptance. Not everyone takes the same path, but the human reaction to grief for all its reasons tends toward the same direction as the human mind readjusts to a new normal. Grief isn’t over quickly either. While a person may experience all of these things in the immediate aftermath, they will also experience them on significant anniversaries and reminders of the event. Grief can last for a lifetime, depending on the significance of the object lost.
Knowing that mourning deals particularly with human loss, I am intrigued by Jesus’s statement. He pronounces blessing over those that mourn, for they shall receive comfort from God. This is the same Jesus who will rise from the dead just a year or so from this point giving the Christian cause for rejoicing. The resurrection directly refuted mourning, because the dead are raised! Aren’t these values in conflict? No.
In fact they complement each other. Jesus earlier words were placed in the future tense. “They shall be comforted.” Now we mourn, but in the future we will be comforted. What would change that would cause us to be comforted? Belief in the resurrection! Even now, we are comforted when a loved on dies that they are with Jesus. That is comforting. How are they with Jesus? Because if anyone believes in Jesus, though he were dead, is alive in Christ. This is a powerful truth in the midst of mourning. The possibility of life after death existed in Judaism before, but was refined and given more specifics in Christ. This is certainly comfort for the believer.
“But what about …”
If your loved one didn’t believe in Jesus, then we have every reason to mourn. I am sorry. If they were witnessed to and knew the requirements of the gospel and still refused to surrender to God’s Love, I am truly sorry. I know that sounds harsh, but Jesus endured hell for them. I believe some leniency will be given to those who have never heard, but they will be judged on the light they have been given and how obedient they were to it. “All have sinned, and have fallen short of the glory of God.” Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
God bless you today.