Grieved to Death

By Robert Wayne La Coste

As a young boy, my older brother and I raised pigeons. The first pair we ever had was a young female we had simply caught in a neighbor’s barn, and a much older male that we had had as a single pet for sometime. We really enjoyed watching them work, live and actually share life together. When the female laid three eggs, the male would take turns sitting on them as they both gathered straw in an effort to maintain a nest for their soon to be off-spring. Because of the male’s sire he had little trouble fighting off would be destroyers of the nest. No other pigeon was a match for him, and even the neighborhood cats thought twice before tangling wish this old fella.

One day upon returning from gathering straw the old bird entered the cage to only find the feathers of his mate scattered everywhere and the eggs drenched in blood. The eggs themselves were unharmed but the female was no where in sight. Some cat had enjoyed lunch. The old bird took his place on the ,three eggs and the next morning was found beak downward, motionless and still, not a mark on his body. He had literally grieved himself to death! Needless to say, this caused many a tear to flow from two young boy’s eyes, and it is an incident that shall not soon be forgotten by either of us.

These were just members of the animal kingdom which act solely upon instinct. They have no soul. They have no intellect. They have not the ability to reason, and yet in many instances they are wiser than those who posers these qualities. They care for their own, even unto death!

How it must grieve God to see those with whom he has given these qualities lost in sin. When Jesus was on earth, on one occasion he went and grieved over the city of Jerusalem saying, “Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou which killesi the prophets and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together as a hen doeth gather her brood under her wings and ye would not . . . ” (Luke 13:34-35).

The same Jesus hanging on the cross in great grief and anguish implored, “My God, My God, why host thou forsaken me” (Matt. 27:46), and “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Being that Jesus’ body shed forth both “blood and water” (John 19:34), many physicians of true science comment that this is a biological change in the body which occurs when one dies in “great distress, anguish and mental grief.” In other words, we might conclude from this, that surely while Jesus was murdered, and his physical body suffered much, he too suffered inwardly. Suffered because God’s children the Jews would not hear his words; suffered because of the love which he had for them, but which they had not for him. Jesus died not only from great physical suffering but was actually grieved to death as well, grieved for the same ones for whom he had prayed, “Forgive them, they know not what they are doing.” How God the Father must have grieved that day, even as he did in the beginning when he had made man and man.was wicked and sinful, and “it repented the Lord that He had made man .and it grieved him at his heart” (Gen. 6:6). How it must grieve Him to see men today still wicked, and still in rebellion. Dear reader, let us not “grieve the Holy Spirit of God” (Eph. 4:30) but rather pay heed to his teachings and show forth love for him who first loved us (1 John 4:10).

Truth Magazine XIX: 48, p. 759
October 16, 1975