The Healing Power of Mourning: Matthew 5:4
“4) Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
The word “mourn” is a verb that describes deep grieving most often associated with the death of a loved one. It is an expression of inner hurt, emptiness, pain and bewilderment and is often accompanied by grief, weeping and remorseful crying. This is the word used in Mark 16:10 for the women who were mourning and weeping over the death of Jesus.
Mourning is an important part of the healing process in the face of death. It is normal and natural to mourn and openly express grief over the loss of a loved. For the non-Christian, it is often an expression of hopelessness, despair and fear over the power and permanence of death.
But something was coming that would bring great comfort. With the resurrection of Jesus Christ, a phenomenon took place for the early Christians. The fear and despair associated with death were replaced by hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 captures this concept when Paul acknowledged that Christians grieve, but not like those who have no hope. Why?
1 Corinthians 15:50-58 acknowledges that Jesus Christ has taken “the sting” out of sin and death through His resurrection. He conquered death and literally took the keys of death from the devil. (See Revelation 1:17-18) When the believer passes through deaths doors a very immediate and tangible glory awaits them.
Paul elaborated in depth on this in 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:10. Often in the case of those martyred for Jesus and the gospel, an inexpressible joy, grace and glory comes upon the believer during the transition from this realm to glory. It is real and profound!
Stephen in Acts 8:54-60 is an example of this jubilation. The unusual joy and celebration of Christians in the face of death left a huge impression on Saul who was leading the charge to stone Stephen. After his conversion, Paul shared his own attitude toward life and death in Philippians 1:19-30. In verse 21 he said, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global