A Mother by the Cross

A Mother by the Cross
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Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. — John 19:25

Hardly anything is more heartbreaking that to read the story of the crucifixion. To realize that the words of the human authors cannot fully describe the agony and suffering that our Lord went through that day. Yet, even in the midst of His sufferings there are some words that seem to pull on our hearts that aren’t dealing with His suffering but speak to us just as well.

Right in the middle of all that is happening John writes these words about the mother of Jesus. Read them again and let them soak in to your heart today. Mothers, can you imagine what it must have been like for her to see her son suffer as He did? There are mothers today who have lost sons / daughters. Some because of sickness or tragedy or various other situations, but I can only imagine the hurt that Mary must have experienced that day. It brings to my mind a few thoughts.

The delight of Mary. I’m reminded of that concerning the birth of Jesus. Don’t you know that had to be in Mary’s mind that day? Don’t you know that she must have been going back in her mind 33 years earlier when she gave birth to Him in Bethlehem? What a great day it is when a woman gives birth to her firstborn child. *I think of her being told by the angel of His birth. I think of the delight she had in sharing with her cousin Elizabeth. I think of how thrilled she was when she held Him in her arms. I think of how she must have felt as the shepherds and wise men came. She kept all those things and pondered them in her heart. So, I think of the delight of Mary.

The dedication of Mary. I remember how after the days of her purification were accomplished Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to Jerusalem to present Him before the Lord. Then when He was 12 years old how they
took Him to Jerusalem to worship for the Passover. It says about Jesus later on that as his custom was he entered into the synagogue on the sabbath day. It was His custom because He had been brought up that way. We know that somewhere along the line Joseph has apparently died and Mary is left to raise her children alone, but she taught them what was right. I thank God for godly mothers who raise their children with dedication to the Lord. Teaching them the ways of God. She at times didn’t understand maybe all He did, but she loved Jesus and was always there for Him and now she is standing by the cross as He is crucified. She watched as the religious leaders rejected Him and the soldiers nailed Him to the cross and she stood by the cross. I think of Mary’s delight and dedication as the mother of Jesus.

The devotion of Mary. She could have easily not been there that day. She could have easily done like many others and hidden in fear that day, but there she is, standing by the cross. There on the cross was the baby she had nursed, the boy she held, the son who had brought joy to her heart, and now He was being crucified. The idea of the phrase is of something that started in the past and continues into the present. She had been standing and she continues to stand by the cross. How beautiful; how wonderful are the words—Now there
stood by the cross of Jesus his mother.

Mother, where are you standing today? I say to you to stand by your family, stand by your husband, stand by your children (though at times they may disappoint you), but most of all, stand by the cross.

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