Today’s Reading: John 19:25-27 (NIV)
25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary, the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
I cannot imagine the grief Mary must have felt watching her Son die such a cruel death. She and Joseph had been given a holy glimpse into this child’s purpose when the angel appeared to each of them in Nazareth nearly thirty-four years ago. Unlike the others who feared for their lives, Mary chose not to abandon her Son at the cross alone. She stood at the foot of the cross with her sister and dear friend. Only one of the disciples, the disciple whom Jesus loved, waited nearby, praying and grieving for His master.
Any mother would rather suffer themselves than see their child hurt. The unthinkable had happened and Mary would have gladly traded her life for the cross if she could have spared Jesus this agony. She remembered with vivid clarity taking the back roads to Egypt with Joseph when Jesus was just a baby. They fled to escape the death sentence of Herod as first-born sons were being slaughtered all across Bethlehem. Every time the angel spoke, they found a way to obey, and they stayed together in Egypt until the angel told them it was safe to go home. I imagine Mary wondered how she would ever find her way home after losing her son and the Lord of life. Without Him, there would be no safe place to live.
Jesus looked down from the cross and saw His mother weeping. Their eyes met and silent words were spoken between the two of them. Jesus raised His voice and said, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” Jesus made a provision for his mother. He knew she would need someone to be there for her, to care for and comfort her as she continued to live out the days of her life. Jesus knew that his friend would need the loving support of His mother. They would find comfort together in their memories, and hope for His imminent return.
It has been my personal experience that God seems to provide the right people in times of need. He gives us the precious gift of family and friends to help each other endure seasons of grief and pain. Jesus provides a home for all who draw near to Him in faith. We are not alone; we have each other, and we can watch and wait together for our Lord’s imminent return.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
© Copyright 2009, Deb Spaulding
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