Blessed Mourning

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4. The word translated “mourn” denotes an intense sorrow: not just the grief we feel over a tragedy, but the deep heart sorrow our sins and imperfections should cause us. (See Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 9.)

The only way for us as humans to experience such deep sadness is to look on the cross of Calvary and see what Jesus did for us individually, what He suffered for us on a cruel and painful tree. Jesus says, “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” John 12:32. As we draw near to the foot of the cross, we begin to discern the sinfulness of our own hearts, our rebellion and ungratefulness. At the cross, our hearts are stirred. We surrender to Christ, falling all broken at His feet and confessing our sins. We desire cleansing and God’s approval.

This is the type of mourning that “shall be comforted.” At the cross, we are set free from the bondage of sin, and, as the song says, the burden of our heart rolls away. The Pilgrim’s Progress describes our experience at the foot of the cross this way:

“Thus far did I come laden with my sin,
Nor could aught ease the grief that I was in,
Till I came hither. What a place is this!
Must here be the beginning of my bliss?
Must here the burden fall from off my back?
Must here the strings that bound it to me crack?
Blest Cross! Blest sepulcher! Blest rather be
The Man that there was put to shame for me!”

May we each experience this blessed mourning!