Topic: Jeremiah 31:10-14
"Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted" (Matthew 5:4).
During my days of agnosticism and early inquiry into the Christian faith, I was not aware of my sin. I had come to believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, that He died on the cross for the sins of man but somehow it had not dawned on me that I was that bad. My lifestyle was not much different from that of the average church member. And, though my life was far from exemplary, in my own estimation I was a pretty decent fellow. As a matter of fact, I had some problems with all the talk about the cross and the shedding of blood. It seemed offensive to my aesthetic nature.
I was willing to believe that Jesus was the greatest influence, the greatest teacher, the greatest leader, the greatest example that man had ever known. And if He had to die on the cross to make a point, I did not think it was important enough to be made an issue. In fact, the thing that was really important to me was the fact that according to the Bible and the historical evidence, Jesus lived a very wonderful life dedicated to helping others.
Then one day - I shall never forget the time and place, though I have forgotten the exact passage - as I read the Bible I was suddenly gripped with the necessity of Christ dying on the cross for my sins. I finally realized that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin; that I had fallen short of the glory of God and that I deserved death. I realized that there is nothing in me that merited His love, His grace, His forgiveness, His cleansing. I found myself on my knees in tears, deeply conscious of my unworthiness and, for the first time in my life, understood the true meaning of the cross and the reason He shed His blood for me.
Soon after I was elected to the board of deacons of my church and was called upon to serve communion. I shall never forget that experience. I found myself weeping as I served the wafers representing His broken body and the grape juice representing His blood that was shed for the sins of all men, for my sins, because now his death on the cross meant everything to me. A hymn, which had once been offensive to me, now became one of my favorites: "what can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus." I believe that this is what Jesus had in mind when He said, "Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted."
I will not ignore my sins but will mourn over them by confessing, repenting, and, through the discipline of spiritual breathing, walking constantly in the light as a model of the supernatural life.
What does Jesus' death on the cross mean to you? Do you find yourself drawn to your knees before Him?
Dr Bill Bright