Turn of Heart

Mark Fackler

READ : Zechariah 12:10-14

I will pour out a spirit of compassion. (v. 10)

The experience of mourning is all too common. We see it regularly in news photos—drawn faces of those whose families have died violently, maybe because of a marketplace bomb or drunk driver. As I write, families are mourning students killed in a lecture hall by a crazed gunman . . . and a young mother gone in one week from an infection medicine could not arrest.

Mourning is the right thing to do in such circumstances. It serves to express our sadness, to show our love and give voice to our loss. Mourning demonstrates “emotional intelligence.” If survivors don’t mourn a loved one’s death, something is very wrong.

In view here is the right emotional response to the death of the “Pierced One” (John 19:37; Revelation 1:7). The wrong response was to cheer his death, or worse, shrug it off. Here he was, the long-expected Messiah. Accused by religious leaders (who should have welcomed him), crucified by the state (which should have submitted to him), buried quietly in a rock vault (mourners were few). For our sins he died! We rightly mourn.

From other descriptions of Jesus’ return, we know that mourning is only “for a time.” Soon, the skies will divide and emotions soar as God’s love and goodness wipe away every tear.

PRAYER

In my mourning, Lord, anchor my hope in Jesus’ resurrection and his coming Kingdom.