Summary: 2nd Part of eighton the Beattitudes.
The Perfect Standard For Life
To Be Blessed, Mourn! - Part 2 of 8
Reading: Matthew 5v4
Charles Colson who was put into jail for his part in the Watergate scandal in America so many years ago now, subsequently found Jesus in prison and today he heads up an international ministry to people in prisons all around the world.
He writes in his book Who Speaks for God? …about a man by the name of Yehiel Dinur, an Auschwitz holocaust survivor who was interviewed because of him being a witness at the Nuremburg war-crime trials after World War 2.
During the interview a film clip from Adolf Eichmann’s trial was viewed that showed how Dinur entered the room, and for the first time came face to face with Eichmann.
Stopped cold, Dinur began to sob uncontrollably and then fainted while the presiding judge pounded his gavel for order in the courtroom.
“Was Dinur overcome by hatred? Or Fear? Or horrid memories?”…asks Colson in his book.
This is what he wrote in his book, “NO; it was none of these. Rather, as Dinur explained later,…all at once he realized that Eichmann was not the godlike army officer who had sent so many people to their deaths. This Eichmann was an ordinary man.
“I was afraid about myself”, said Dinur.
“I saw that I am also capable to do this. I am exactly like him”.
In other words, what that true story teaches us, is that Eichmann’s behaviour is in all of us here, because it speaks of a certain truth about our own sinful natures.
God says that sin is to be found in each one of us.
Here’s the question then, “Why is it that in the modern church of today we so very seldom speak of the sin that separates us from God?”
I’ll tell you why, because for each one of us to truly confess our sins before a Holy God is not an easy thing to do.
To be honest with you this morning many people will leave the church never to return again if we should speak of it too often.
…and yet you and I need such an encounter with a Holy God who will expose our sins.
To this then Jesus gives us the second Beatitude, because it shows us how necessary it really is to truly face our sins square on.
He says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”.
Now, what we need to understand here is that it’s a paradox, in other words, there seems to be some contradiction here.
You see, what this verse promises you and what it demands of you don’t seem to make any sense whatsoever.
“What could be more of a contradiction than the idea that the sad are happy, that the path to happiness is sadness, and that the way to rejoicing is in mourning?”
It’s like someone once said, “It’s truth standing on it’s head calling for attention”.
…and so Jesus invites you this morning to come and look, because if you get to understand this morning what this verse really means, it will bring you life.
“Blessed [approved of God] are those who mourn”.
Now, last week I said that each of these Beatitudes builds on the next one.
Last week we saw, “Blessed are the poor in spirit”,…in other words, blessed are those people who understand they are spiritual beggars.
The second Beatitude says, “Blessed are those who mourn”.
What I’m trying to say here is this: It naturally follows that when we see ourselves for what we really are, then our emotions stir us to mourning, - mourning over what?, over our sinfulness!
In other words, the poor in spirit become those who mourn over their sinfulness.
Watch the sequence: Spiritual poverty leads to Godly mourning over my sins, which again leads me to confess my sins, which leads to God forgiving me.
There’s one more thing we need to get under the belt before we move on.
Yes, the Beatitudes are not the Gospel because they do not actually explain Christ’s death and resurrection and how we may receive Him.
But, the Beatitudes tell us how to prepare before we receive Christ.
In other words, as some preacher once said, “The Beatitudes prepare us in the sense, that they slay us so that we may live. They hold us up against the standards for the kingdom, so that we can see our need and fly to Him”.
…and so Jesus cuts right through the shallowness of our Christianity and exposes us as a people who might know all the right answers, yet do not know Him intimately.
What Does “Blessed are those who mourn” Mean?
Again like last week, for us to really understand what it does mean, we first have to look at what it does not mean: