She stands at the foot of the cross. He hangs there in agony between two common thieves. Pilate had put an inscription above his head, mocking him, which said JESUS OF NAZARETH , THE KING OF THE JEWS. She wants to look away but she cannot take her eyes off him. She wishes she could leave but she is riveted to this place,Golgotha, the place of the skull. She no longer knows how long she has stood here, watching her Savior, her son, die the death of a thief. Her heart feels like it is being torn apart piece by piece with each labored breath he takes. She remembers that day in Jerusalem when she andJosephtookJesusto the temple and were met by Simeon. The old man’s words now haunt her;
“Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed– and a sword will pierce even your own soul…”
She is grateful for the support she receives with the presence of the other women,Mary Magadalene, and her sisterSalome, and Mary the wife of Clopas. Her son’s beloved disciple,John, is also by her side. She watches as soldiers divide his garments into rags and cast lots for his robe. She remembers that rags were all she had to cloth him with after his birth.
She winces every time she hears the taunts of the crowd. The religious leaders are especially cruel. “He saved others, let Him save himself!” They of all people should know better. These leaders and teachers who say they love God and know his prophesy taunt the One who has come to fulfill it. She recalls the angel’s words to Joseph,
“And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.”
She has not always understood the words spoken to her by others and Jesus concerning His life. That day inJerusalem, he spoke words to her that she did not understand. They thought they had lost Jesus and he had been missing for three days. She had been so worried, so anxious when she had realized that he was missing. She felt a mixture of relieve and anger when they found him in the temple. She remembers turning to him and saying,
“Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”
Jesusvery calmly answered her,“Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”
Even now, in His darkest hour, He is about His Father’s business. She looks up at her beloved son. Her mother’s heart wishes that she could do something or that God would do something. She yearns to take away his pain, to wipe his brow, to tend to his wounds! She would even sacrifice herself if she could. But that is not God’s plan and she knows that Jesus’ purpose, his mission has always been to fulfill God’s plan. This is His Father’s plan for her redemption. Just as God must sacrifice His Son for others, so must she.
Jesus turns to her and says,
“Women, behold your son.”
He then says to John,
“Behold, your mother.”
She realizes that he is no longer her son. She must give him back to God, but she has always known that he was hers for just a little while. He is God’s forever. He is God. He is her Savior.
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
what a great sacrifice God made when he allowed His son to die for my sins. I could not imagine sacrificing my son for anyone or any reason. Yet God in his grace and wisdom, planned from the beginning of time to do just that. It is my hope and prayer this Easter that you will reflect on the great sacrifice of the Cross. Christwas as human as you and I, yet He was always about his Father’s business. He suffered a physical, emotional, and spiritual agony that we will never experience, that we might have redemption. Yet we often go through our daily lives forgetting this great sacrifice. By not living daily in His will and being about our Father’s business, we too mock Him and spit on Him. Because the cross and the grace of God cost us so little, we often forget how much it cost God. He has redeemed you at a great price! He has set you free! He has paid your ransom! Now—- go live like it! And be about your Father’s business!