Two thousand years ago, Jesus inaugurated the incoming Kingdom of God and the New World Disorder. The Beatitudes are a gauntlet slammed into the 1st Century Palestinian battle ground, announcing a new beginning...
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted..."
This progression of hope for the children of God, pledging allegiance to His reign, separates the various dimensions of grieving as both spiritual and physical. They have always been, and remain, interchangeable. Sin gives birth to death, and the heart of God breaks over both conditions.
Hope is that crucial ingredient that carries Christian mourners through seasons of deepest loss. Hope is the chain that peddles the bike that keeps you going. Hope is the seed that sprouts the roots and springs a tree.
And in what is our hope? In whom is our faith?
The resurrection of the crucified King! The manifestation of a literal rising from the ashes of decadence, have been for two thousand years, the motivation to mourn with conviction.
In John 11, the New Testament tells the story of Jesus receiving an oral telegram: "Come quick, your best friend, Lazerus, is sick unto death!"The text reads with cryptic subversion, "Now Jesus loved Lazerus, so he did not come."
He loved Lazerus, [therefore] he didn't answer his prayer.
And in this waiting room of suffering and ashes, the family mourns the loss of their brother. The anguish initiates a series of questions, revealing the frustration we have all felt at times. "Where were you, God?" Jesus absorbs their tears like a sponge, and receives their doubt with delicate authority. His posture bends in the dirt to feel the weight of this loss.... ["Jesus wept."]
On that day God cried, salty tears of internal rage. He looked into the eyes of his closest friends, after announcing that this will not be the last chapter; the Resurrection and the Life was enveloped in cynical despair. And Jesus felt their lack of faith in Him, bending to His knees in anguish.
----- The Resurrection and the Life ---- cried.
Where is your faith? Awake O sleeper, death will not have the last word. The cross couldn't finish His sentence, and the grave couldn't hold His power! Where our sins have been atoned for, the scars are not fatal and the grave is not final. When we mourn over those things that break the heart of God, comfort crashes into the casket!
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.