Summary: Just as our natural bodies crave nourishment, so too our spiriutal bodies crave Christ!
The Pilgrim’s Path Part-4, Mathew 5:1-12
Thirsting For God
Crowns have always been the sign of authority and Kingship. Charlemagne, whom historians say should deserve to be called “great” above all others, wore an octagonal crown. Each of the eight sides was a plaque of gold, and each plaque was studded with emeralds, sapphires, and pearls. The cost was the price of a king’s ransom. Richard the Lion Heart had a crown so heavy that two earls had to stand, one on either side, to hold his head. The crown that Queen Elizabeth wears is worth over $20 million. Edward II once owned nine crowns, something of a record. Put them all together, from all of Europe and from the archives of the East, all of them are but trinkets compared to Christ’s crown. Revelation 19 says he had many diadems. He wears a crown of righteousness. He wears a crown of glory. He wears a crown of life. He wears a crown of peace and power. Among those crowns, one outshines the rest. It was not formed by the skilled fingers of a silversmith, nor created by the genius of a craftsman. It was put together hurriedly by the rough hands of Roman soldiers. It was not placed upon its wearer’s head in pomp and ceremony, but in the hollow mockery of ridicule and blasphemy. It is a crown of thorns.
The amazing thing is that it belonged to me. I deserved to wear that crown. I deserved to feel the thrust of the thorns. I deserved to feel the warm trickle of blood upon my brow. I deserved the pain. He took my crown of thorns—but without compensation. He offers to me instead His crown of life, the crown of His righteousness conferred to you and me; the crown that fadeth not away.
This morning we continue on our journey through the beatitudes, discovering the way of the master; the Pilgrim’s Path. Our focus today is upon Mathew 5:6 where Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
In all of the beatitudes Jesus is contrasting the wisdom of the world. He is spelling out in no uncertain terms what it means to be a citizen of the Kingdom. As we read these passages it is incredibly important to hear them as they were spoken originally rather than through the filter of our Western Cultural background.
You and I have heard these and other words of Christ many times. Even those who are un-churched in our culture have had at least some exposure to Christ words.
Perhaps the greatest trouble in the Christian life in having known Christian influences all of our lives is that to an even greater extent than the rest of our culture, we can easily become desensitized to the meaning if not even the very nature of the words of Christ.
This day as we examine our text I invite you to set aside preconditions of thought surrounding this saying of Jesus. Hear God’s word afresh and anew this morning.
Just as every human being alive on this planet has a natural thirst and hunger, so too each one of us has a spiritual thirst and hunger. God created humanity to live in relationship with Him. Intrinsic in our very composition is a bent toward worship. The terrible folly of this is that though we were created to worship the One True and Living God, many have replaced Him with other lesser gods.
When humanity fell into sin our nature was corrupted by the power of rebellion and yet not fully destroyed. Every man, woman, and child on this planet is worshipping something; though it may very well not be the something that they were created to worship.
There are those who have exchanged the pure worship of God for a restatement of God into their own image. These, though having a form of religious devotion, have cast aside the power and majesty of the pure worship of the God of the ages who has revealed Himself in the Bible. To these folks God is little more than a familiar and comforting concept from childhood.
There are those who have abandoned God outright; declaring not His will be done but mine! Crying out with every fiber of their being, if not with every action and decision of their life, “I am the master of my own destiny. In my own wisdom, strength, and knowledge I will place my trust!” For this increasing segment of our population the Gospel message is an affront to their own way.
As the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 1:25-26, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised… Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.”