“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. ”
- Matthew 5:4
On the surface, our Lord seems to be contradicting himself. Jesus says, “Blessed are those who mourn...” which translates, “happy are the sad...”
How can one be happy about being sad? It is a paradox that Isaiah experienced when he stood before God, the majesty of God bringing him to his knees, as he cries out, “woe is me... a man of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5).
Our Lord's word for mourn is ‘pentheó,’ which indicates deep personal sorrow; it is what we experience when a personal hope or relationship dies.
What relationship has died? The one between God and us.
Jesus is talking about mourning over sin— He is talking about the Christ-follower who grieves over the sin that keeps them from experiencing the fullness of God. Sin always separates us from God, hindering our relationship with Him.
As new creations in Christ, daily we wrestle with the "old man of death"(Romans 6:6), who is the sum of our old fleshly desires and inclinations.
Every day we must wake up and drown the old man. The problem is…he's an excellent swimmer. And sometimes, the old self gets the better of us.
What should we do when sin wins out? We should mourn.
We have the cross of Jesus Christ to help us mourn. What comes to mind when you look to the cross? Every one of us should say to ourselves, "This is what sin can do. Sin can take the Lamb of God and hang Him on a Cross." The cross opens our eyes to the reality and horror of our sin.
A faithful Christian life begins and ends with a deep sense of sin. Happy are they who mourn over sin and what sin has done to God and Jesus Christ. And we are happy because Scripture tells us that the sacrifice God desires “is a broken spirit… a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise” (Psalm 51:17).
The way to forgiveness and comfort is through the desperate sorrow of the broken heart. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Your prayer today, “Lord forgive me of my sin. The sin I see and the sin I do not see. Lord lead me to mourn my sin, remove anything that separates me from You.”