Sunday, October 4, 2015

Mourning on the Mountain


I don’t know whether or not I’ll go through the remaining Beatitudes – but this one fell open when I picked up my notebook again:

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4 KJV)

“Mourning” is defined as expression of deep sorrow for someone who has died – as in Pieta, where Mary is mourning the death of her son. But it’s not the life taken from someone that Jesus refers to here. Instead, I believe that after becoming aware of our spiritual need for God (see yesterday’s blog), we mourn because of our sin, we are not worthy to be near Him. I think The Pulpit Commentary agrees wit this:
Our Lord does not define that which causes the mourning, but as the preceding and the following verses all refer to the religious or at least the ethical sphere, merely carnal and worldly mourning is excluded. The mourning referred to must, therefore, be produced by religious or moral causes.
My notes include verses from II Corinthians 7 where Paul was explaining that he knew his earlier letter to them caused them sorrow, then explained:

Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (2 Corinthians 7:9-10 KJV)

During the sermon, Pastor gave examples of two men who repented their rejection of Jesus. Peter denied him three times before a number of people, once using curse words to make his point in Matthew 26:69-75. Oh, yes – I do believe his crying was in mourning. With Jesus’ death, his hope was gone. He soon discovered it wasn’t. The resurrection changed everything.

The other man betrayed Jesus for money – 30 pieces of silver. And, he repented. He was sorry for what he had done. Instead of the mourning Peter did, he hanged himself after returning the money:

And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. (Matthew 27:6-7 KJV)

Just as prophesied in Zechariah 11:12-13:

And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD. (Zechariah 11:12-13 KJV)

Two men who recognized their sin and repented. One turned to God and received the promised comfort. The other did not. This verse offers us comfort – which I have received, and pray for others to know.

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