Summary: Death, Grief, Love, Compassion
4 Views from the Cross – His Family Views His Death
John 19:25-27 (p. 756) March 13, 2016
There’s an old hymn that says, “Jesus keep me near the cross. There a precious fountain, free to all a healing stream, flows from Calvary’s mountain...in the cross, in the cross, be my glory ever. ‘Till my raptured soul shall find rest beyond the river.”
But I wonder, on the day Jesus died how near to that cross would we have really wanted to be?
Crucifixion was a slow and horrible way to die. The Romans reserved it for those whom they wanted to make examples of...“Mess with us...and this is where you’ll end up.”
There is a series of events that have happened before we arrive at our text the Sunday before Jesus has ridden into Jerusalem on a donkey...crowds have celebrated His entrance by throwing down palm branches and shouting “Hosanna.” It’s a Jewish expression of adoration praise and joy (Literally “Save us we pray”).
It caused the conspiracy of the Pharisees to kill Him to go into high gear...John 12:19 records their reaction to the crowds...“Look how the whole world has gone after Him.” Later that week there would be an arrest in the middle of the night, Jesus’ disciples would scatter in fear for their lives...Jesus would be put on trial before the Sanhedrin...but because “Capital Punishment” could only be granted by the Roman government, He would be sent to Pilate...then Herod...then back to Pilate.
Finally Pilate would relent to the crowd that had been yelling “Hosanna” a few days ago but was now yelling “crucify him.” Washing his hands Pilate hands Jesus over...where He’s mocked, beaten and humiliated. He then carries his cross down the Via Dela Rosa (the way of sorrows) to Golgotha. He is then nailed to His cross...hoisted into place.
The Pharisees have followed...and near the cross they spur the crowd on by yelling “If you are the Christ come down from the cross and save yourself, then we will believe you. He saved others but cannot save Himself.”
But as Jesus hangs there He is not just surrounded by hatred...His family is there, His mother Mary, John the Apostle and 3 others.
“Near the cross of Jesus stood His mother, His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleopas and Mary Magdalene.” (John 19:25)
What we powerfully encounter here is
I. A FAMILY AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS
By most accurate accounts when Jesus is dying He is surrounded by His mother, His aunt, and His first cousin John...and Mary Magdalene.
Jesus had cast out 7 demons from her soul...she could never forget what Jesus had done to change her life...she had been rescued by the Messiah.
There they stood...Near the cross, watching their son, their nephew, their best friend die...and they couldn’t change the situation...It’s hard to imagine a more heartbreaking scene...they look up...and He looks down.
Max Lucado asks this powerful question: