A Bitter Day of Mourning

Bible:

“And on that day,” declares the Lord God,
“I will make the sun go down at noon
and darken the earth in broad daylight.
I will turn your feasts into mourning
and all your songs into lamentation;
I will bring sackcloth on every waist
and baldness on every head;
I will make it like the mourning for an only son
and the end of it like a bitter day.” Amos 8:9-10

As [Jesus] drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Luke 7:12-15 ESV

And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Mark 15:33-34 ESV

Reflection:

In Bible times, and even today in some cultures, a son is very important to his parents, because he is the one who will take care of them when they get old. They will usually live with their son in the same house, and the son will give his parents the best food and whatever else they need to be happy and comfortable. If parents have only one son, he is all they have to make sure they will have someone to help them in their old age, and it is a terrible sadness if they lose him. When Jesus came to a city where a woman’s only son had just died, he felt very sorry for her, because she had already lost her husband and would now be all alone with no one to take care of her. He brought her son back from the dead and gave him back to his mother.

The prophet Amos talked about the Day of the Lord, a day of judgment and punishment for sins. He talked about darkness coming at noon, and terrible sadness coming to the people. They would stop their festivals and sing mournful songs and wear scratchy sackcloth, which people wore to show they were sorry for their sins. The Day of the Lord was going to be a day of bitter mourning, like the sadness of parents who lose their only son. Someday God’s people would be defeated in battle and taken away from the promised land to live in a country far away, and that would be a day of judgment and of grief for them.

The most awesome Day of the Lord, the day when God poured out his judgment against sin, came when Jesus died on the cross. The light of the sun failed and it became very dark at noon. God’s only Son died on the cross in our place, to take the punishment for our sins. Because of what Jesus did for us, we have God’s forgiveness. We don’t have to be afraid of the final Day of the Lord, when Jesus comes again to judge the whole world. For everyone who believes in Jesus, it will be a day of rising from the dead and living in God’s Heavenly Kingdom forever.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your only Son to die for us and bring us into your kingdom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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