“The Blessings” Series
“Blessed are the persecuted,” says Jesus. Happy are those who are verbally and physically attacked “because of righteousness,” “because of me”. What possibly could Jesus mean by this?
If the beatitudes or blessings are the result of God’s saving and transforming grace in our lives, then because of our obedience and likeness to Jesus Christ we will inevitably suffer some kind of persecution right where we live. But Jesus shows us that the persecuted are blessed, not because suffering is good in itself, but because “theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. Beyond the suffering lies a new heaven and earth, a world where all suffering will be no more. No more death, mourning, crying, or pain.
Who doesn’t want to live in a world like that! We all long to. But here’s “the catch”: to live in that world we must love the King and everything He loves. Here’s the good news: the King loved us first and came to earth to save us and to lead us into His new world and kingdom.
How has Jesus done this? On a cross, by taking all our reproach upon himself, so that all his blessing would fall on us. We rejoice neither in weakness and suffering nor in strength and power, but in Jesus Christ who came and is “coming soon”.