Mary at The Cross

John 19: 25,26 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleopas, and Mary Magdalene. 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,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on. this disciple took here into his own home.

Jesus in agony cares for His own, and joins his beloved mother to his beloved disciple John. His caring is the very reason for his pain and suffering. While the Roman soldiers callously cast lots for Jesus robe the savior tenderly fills the empty place, the loss that His death creates. This too is the reason for his cross. The loss was described 33 years earlier in the temple when the aged Simeon prophesied to Mary, “A sword will pierce through your own soul.” Now the sword that pierces Jesus body also stabs her heart. It is a loss that is hard to measure. Rudyard Kipling once wrote “If I were hanged on the highest hill, I know whose love would follow me still, Mother of mine.” But this is not just the sentimentality of a Hallmark Mother’s Day card. It is a message from God emerging in the darkest hour from the very jaws of hell itself. It is a song of triumph, a dance of grace, a veritable symphony of love. It is Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus of the final victory of life over death and of gain over loss. Before he was martyred on a river beach in Ecuador, the missionary Jim Elliot wrote “It is not foolish to lose what you cannot keep to gain what you cannot lose.”

This is the message of the cross. Both Mary and John love Jesus not only as a son or a friend, but as a Savior. They believe that this loss is also their gain. As painful as this hour is for them it is the hour that will bring triumph over all tragedy and gain in the place of all loss. This is not just for them. It is for us. It is for us to see the transforming power of Jesus’ sacrifice. It is for us to learn that the love and grace of the Lord has brought Him to this place of death so that we might experience the life and love that God intended. As Jesus changes Mary and John’s relationship so he changes ours. He brings love into the equation of our sinful selfish lives and restores what is broken. He makes what is hideously distorted into something beautiful. He shows us the power of love so that we can experience it in our relationships. And so the Scripture says, “And from that hour that disciple took her to his own.” The word home is not in the original Greek. It is a more powerful statement. He took her for his own. This is the love Jesus came to bring into your life and mine.