….And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son,…. Zech. 12:10
Is this the way to get a truly broken heart? Then let those that have attained brokenness of heart this way, bless the Lord whilst they live, for so choice a mercy; and that upon a double account.
- For as much as a heart so affected and melted, is not attainable by any natural or unrenewed person; if they would give all they have in the world, it cannot purchase one such tear, or groan over Christ; mark, what characters of special grace it bears, in the description that is made of it. Such a frame as this is not born with us, or to be acquired by us; for it is there said to be poured out by the Lord upon us, “I will pour upon them,” &c. There is no hypocrisy or dissimulation in these mournings, they being compared to the mourning of a man for his only son: an sure parents hearts are not untouched when they behold such sights. Nature is not the principle of it, but faith; for it is there said, they shall look on me; i.e. believe and mourn. Self is not the end and center of these sorrows; it is not so much for damning ourselves, as for piercing Christ: “They shall look on me whom they have pierced, and shall mourn;” so that this is sorrow after God, and not a flesh of nature, as discoursed in the former point. Therefore you have cause to bless the Lord, whilst you live for such a special mercy as this is.
And 2. As it is the right, so it is the choicest, and most precious gift that can be given you; for it is ranked among the prime mercies of the new covenant, Ezek. 36: 26. This shall be the covenant; “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” What wouldest thou have given sometimes for such a heart as now thou hast, though it be not yet as thou wouldest have it? And however you value and esteem it, God himself sets no common value on it: for mark what he saith of it, Ps. 51:17. “The sacrifices of God are a broken heart: a broken and a contrite spirit, O God, thou wilt not despise;” i. e. God is more delighted with such a heart, than with all the sacrifices in the world; one groan, one tear, flowing from faith, and the spirit of adoption, are more to him, than the cattle upon a thousand hills. And to the same sense he speaks again, Isa. 66:1, 2. “Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool, Where is the house that ye build to me? And where is the place of my rest? – But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word;” q. d. All the magnificent temples and glorious structures in the world, give me no pleasure in comparison of such a broken heart as this.
O then, for ever bless the Lord, that has done that for you, which none else could do, and which he has done but for few besides you. John Flavel