How the Bible Comforts a Survivor?
When a Mother, Father, Brother or Sister passes away, How can you comfort the survivors? I’m sure there are varying thoughts. I have heard many say “I’m Sorry” or “I’m sorry for your loss” or ” what can I say ” expressing there are no words that convey your sorrow. Does knowledge of the Bible change how a person might answer? To answer this lets look at the best known case of a Mother mourning over a Son, Jesus Christ and His mother Mary.
Prior to His death Jesus had lived a good life as a carpenter who had a great interest in spiritual information. Starting in His 29th year His mind was opened by Jehovah God His Father to understand His pre human life and His purpose to show that Adam could have kept his loyalty to Jehovah God for All Eternity if he wanted to. He also wanted to remove the slander placed on Jehovah’s name by Satan and the religious system influenced by him down to this day and to give His perfect sinless life as a basis for forgiveness of our inherited sins.
Bible Comforts Through Jesus
How can Jesus life and death help us to comfort those grieving? Just before His death He was abused by soldiers, beaten, mocked, slapped, nailed to a stake and slowly died that day with His mother and friends watching. Loosing a child is very difficult to endure, seeing it happen just makes it all that much worse. What could be said to His mother Mary? What did she already know and believed to be true about the dead? What does the Bible say the Hope after Death was before Jesus came to earth? fn.
Mary had just gone through a traumatic event, she was rightly relieved it was over, Jesus was dead and His suffering had ended and hers began. She may have wept every time she thought of it for a long time. She no doubt was comforted knowing she had been used by God and the many prophesies that showed the Messiah would go through all that happened.We don’t know how much Jesus told her about His future, but keeping with her family and others at that time looked for everyone to be resurrected to a better perfect life in a paradise setting on earth at some future time. They received that hope from the prophesies and prior resurrections found in the pages of the Bible. fn1. The religious leaders of the nation of Israel hoped that the Messiah would come, but because Jesus did not match what they wanted they had Him put to death. Just like any other man or woman who has died, all that Jesus was died. He was not feeling any pain, He did not know where He was, He was not remembering or thinking about anything, completely unconscious without thought. His life giving force or spirit, that which keeps the human heart beating and blood flowing had died and his flesh and blood began to decay. Eccl.9:5,10
In Jesus case something special happened after 3 day’s of death. The Sovereign Lord Jehovah took the essence or memory of all Jesus knew before His human birth along with His human experience and instilled that into an angelic spirit body.This is what happens to the humans that are invited to heaven to act as Kings and Priests over us in the Kingdom of God on Earth. This spirit life Jesus now enjoys is different from the life force or spirit we have that keeps our heart beating. The spirit life Jesus now enjoys is a higher form of life then we humans have. He has the ability to think and remember, to reason things out, to judge between good and bad. The ability to Love and enjoy perfect angelic life, His thinking is not swayed by emotions, hormones,high or low blood sugar.Because of this He and His Father will always express the highest levels of Love, Justice and Wisdom. Jesus left us a powerful example of how we should resist any form of wickedness or evil or violence or defilement of the flesh that we might act as He did when on earth. Each day he was concerned with not doing anything that would bring reproach on His Fathers Throne, Dignity, Honor, Righteousness or Name even among human life, but most importantly this all played out before His Angelic brothers in Heaven.
Bible Comforts “They Are Safe”
When someone close to us passes away it’s natural to feel great sadness, however the dead are safe in God’s perfect memory, even the number of their hairs He knows and is able to resurrect the exact person in mind and body. They are not suffering the feelings the survivors do, feelings of quilt or remorse, a sense that they are lost or need to hide how much they are hurting and that nobody else could understand. Emotional pain may last for years. To shorten those years a person has to search the Bible and clutch the true life that is held out in the Bible starting in the first book and winds all the way through to the last. The years of suffering will pale in comparison with perfect eternal life in paradise on earth which is the hope of almost every person ever born. That is something that is worth relaying to the survivors, that we hope so much to see the dead resurrected and enjoy life with them again. The pain and suffering we encounter today is temporary, eternal perfect life is permanent, this is something so amazing our minds cannot even fully comprehend it. fn.2
Bible Comforts Through Scriptures
Everyone is different and opinions on how to comfort the survivors vary, the scriptures like Ecclesiastes 9 verse 5,10 which helps us see that the dead are not suffering in some burning hell. Or a scripture that relays a future hope such as what Jesus said to the criminal hung beside Him at Luke 23 verse 43 And he said to him: “Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise”. Hope is the perfect healer of broken hearts. It is reasonable to believe that Mary called these things to mind.
A scripture that assures the survivor that this will never happen again as brought out in Revelation 21 verses 1-5 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more. 2.I also saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.3.With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them.4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” 5.And the One seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new.” Also he says: “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Eternal life would be unbearable if we had to live like we are today, however we are assured the former things will pass away and there will be no more tears, no more death, no more pain. We are reassured that this will be on Earth by the phrase the Tent of God is with mankind not that mankind is with God. We are so close to the end of these days and the start of those days. The Bible promises things will be so good that you will not call to mind the suffering you have gone through anymore.
Jesus being sent to earth by God testifies that all the promises made by God will prove to be true, this should comfort every survivor.
“I’m Sorry” or “I’m sorry for your loss” or ” what can I say “or “I’m sorry you had to go through that” or “we’ll miss him so much” or “their not suffering anymore” There is nothing wrong with expressing heart felt pain and empathy to someone going through something so unnatural as human death. One of the most important things to convey is that death , wickedness, sickness, disease, suffering, grief and mourning are all temporary. The Bible states the “God has set a Day” and each passing day brings us closer to “That Day” when these things will pass away. Then the real living will begin in just a few days more.
fn. Isaiah 65:21-23. They will build houses and live in them And they will plant vineyards and eat their fruitage. 22 They will not build for someone else to inhabit Nor will they plant for others to eat. For the days of my people will be like the days of a tree, And the work of their hands my chosen ones will enjoy to the full. 23 They will not toil for nothing, Nor will they bear children for distress, Because they are the offspring made up of those blessed by Jehovah, And their descendants with them. The building of houses and planting vineyards is something done on earth. Is it not reasonable that these people who are living a very long time are on the Paradise Earth under perfect conditions?
Hosea 13:14 “From the power of the Grave I will redeem them; From death I will recover them. Where are your stings, O Death? Where is your destructiveness, O Grave? Compassion will be concealed from my eyes.” If Jehovah God recovers someone from death, that means He resurrects them doesn’t it?
Isaiah 25:8 “He will swallow up death forever, And the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will wipe away the tears from all faces. The reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, For Jehovah himself has spoken it.” If Jehovah is swallowing up death forever does that not mean life would live on forever? See also Isaiah 26:19
fn1. Resurrections Mary may have known about 1 Kings 17:17-24, 2Kings 4:32-37, 2Kings 13:20,21
fn.2 Genesis 1:28 Further, God blessed them, and God said to them: “Be fruitful and become many, fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving on the earth.” The job of subduing the Earth would have taken a very long time, was God giving them a job He knew the could not complete?
Acts 24:15 “And I have hope toward God, which hope these men also look forward to, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous”. Written after Jesus death and resurrection The Apostle Paul knew that humans had not been judged yet, they would be resurrected in a future time for that judgment.
John 5:25-30 25 “Most truly I say to you, the hour is coming, and it is now, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who have paid attention will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted also to the Son to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to do judging, because he is the Son of man. 28 Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, and those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment. 30 I cannot do a single thing of my own initiative. Just as I hear, I judge, and my judgment is righteous because I seek, not my own will, but the will of him who sent me.
The Apostle John too, knew that humans had not been judged yet, they would be resurrected in a future time for that judgment.
How the Bible Comforts a Survivor?