“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
As Jesus begins His public ministry, it becomes undeniable that people want to listen to Him. As he begins his Sermon on the Mount, His longest recorded sermon, He starts with a blessing. This first lesson to his followers is what has become known as the Beatitudes. A “beatitude” is a “supreme blessedness”, so who does Jesus call blessed?
As we continue to break down each of Jesus’s blessings, I think it’s important to pause and note what Daily Grace Co. authors mention about the Beatitudes:
“While it is common to hear the Beatitudes pulled apart or studied one at a time, it is wise to read and study them together. Jesus is crafting a sermon where each piece builds on the last. Many commentators have said that the first four beatitudes show the justification we receive from God, and the last four show the sanctification we receive from Him. Justification is when God declares us righteous because Christ’s righteousness covers us through salvation. Sanctification is the ongoing process believers go through over the course of their lives as they walk with God and He conforms them to His image.”
As we move onto the second Beatitude, let’s remember that Jesus’s blessing for the poor in spirit is that they will receive the kingdom of God. When we acknowledge our own brokenness and spiritual poverty, we are able to inherit God’s kingdom because we can receive and accept His free gift of salvation through Christ.
Next Jesus blesses “those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” For so long, I thought this verse meant that when hard things happen in life, we will receive comfort for God. This is still true, but when reading these verses together, it becomes clear that once we realize our spiritual lack, we should mourn the way sin has impacted our lives.
Daily Grace Co. says it well: “We often like to overlook [mourning] and focus on the joy and forgiveness we have in Christ, but it is good to mourn the sin that the Lord mourns. We must see the destruction it wreaks on our souls so that we can thoroughly rejoice and be comforted in the gospel.”
While it isn’t fun, take a moment today to reflect on your sin. Who is it hurting? How does it create a barrier between you and God? You and others? Where will this sin lead you if you continue to do it?
Let that reality sink in for a moment, and then receive comfort from the Truth. Romans 6:23 says “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Your sin steals from you and slowly kills your soul, but because of Jesus, you can be free. What a comfort that “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8-10). You are loved and clean in the eyes of God because of Jesus’s death on the cross.
While sin should make us mourn, we get to move forward in joy because of Christ. What a gift, indeed.