I can still remember the immediate pain that came with the last out of the 1993 Kentucky High School Baseball State Championship game. I was on first base. A ground ball to the shortstop with two outs meant I was forced out at second. Harrison County High School began their celebration. We at Pleasure Ridge Park High School began our mourning.
I cried that day. I cried because we lost. I cried because the season was over. I cried for the guys who just played their last game. I cried because we worked so hard and fell short. It hurt. We took baseball seriously at PRP and nothing short of a state championship was enough.
Though I cried, I was comforted that day by several people. I still have a picture of a teammate and me, our eyes shot red with tears, consoling one another after the loss.
In Matthew 5:4, Jesus spoke the second of what are called The Beatitudes: “Blessed are those who mourn, because they will be comforted.”
Without knowing the context surrounding this verse, a reader might first think Jesus is merely talking about those who grieve a loss in life. Clearly, God is near to those who are brokenhearted, those who grieve. Yet, that’s not the point of this verse. If Jesus desires, in verse 3, for us to be “poor in spirit,” that is, we are to be emptied of ourselves in order to come to Him, it naturally follows that we would mourn over what we see in our lives. Blessed are those who mourn over their sin, who are truly repentant over it.
This verse isn’t dealing mainly with just a feeling of guilt, but a recognition of what our sin has done and how far into our lives it penetrates. We are born with a sinful nature and willfully sin because of it. Consequently, we deserve the judgment and wrath of God, since He is perfect and cannot and will not tolerate sin. However, God saw fit not to pour out judgment on us, but on His Son, Jesus.
Those who receive His offer of salvation by faith are forever saved from the judgment of God and saved into eternal life with Him. There is good reason to mourn over sin. It sent Jesus to the Cross. But, take comfort in knowing the death of Jesus provides forgiveness. Please, surrender your life to Him today.
I mourned the day we lost the State Championship. Yet, that is nothing compared to the pain and damage sin has caused in the world, in my life, and on my Savior. Nothing short of perfection is the standard of God. Sin must bring us to the point of mourning and sorrow, and ultimately to the point of repentance and faith in Jesus. Then, we will know the comfort of having been forgiven and cleansed by the Savior.