Summary: Near The Cross........a message dealing with those who stood near the cross, and how their lives were touched by the Lord.
Near The Cross
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.
Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and mercy found me;
There the bright and morning star
Sheds its beams around me.
Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day,
With its shadows o’er me.
Near the cross I’ll watch and wait
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I reach the golden strand,
Just beyond the river.
If we had lived in the day of Christ’s crucifixion, I wonder how near we would have been to the cross. Would we have gotten close enough to see the agony on his face, to hear the final words that he spoke, to witness the blood as it poured from his wounds ?
How near are we this morning to the cross.........to the crucified Christ ? Our nearness to the cross will be evident in the life that we live. If we are near the cross, it will be reflected in how we live, what we do, and in our relationships with others.
Our text reveals to us who was near the cross on that day.
There were four women present, and one man. They were Mary, the mother of Jesus, Mary’s sister whose name was Salome, Mary, the wife of Cleophas, Mary Magdalene, and John, the disciple.
These individuals were there at the cross because of the love that Christ had for them, and also because of their love for Christ.
This morning I want us to look at four of these individuals, and what we find in them being near the cross.
I. Mary Magdadene............Near The Cross We’ll Find A Changed Life.
Mary Magdalene.......why were you there at the cross ? Why would you want to witness such a scene ? Her testimony.......he changed my life. Before I met him, my life was a wreck. I was possessed by 7 demons. I had no self control. I was living a self destructive life. But all of that changed when I met Christ. He cast out the demons. He set me free from bondage. He gave me purpose.
After her miraculous conversion, Mary Magdalene would become a faithful follower of the Lord. She was a faithful supporter of his ministry, was near the cross on the day of his crucifixion, and would be one of the first to hear the news of the resurrection !
At the cross this morning, you too can find a changed life. Christ can set you free ! He can deliver you ! He can change your life. He can give purpose, and meaning to your life !
II. Salome.............Near The Cross We’ll Find A Corrected Life.
Salome was the mother of James, and John.
As she stood there beholding Jesus dying on the cross, I wonder if she thought of the request that she once made to the Lord. Mat 20:21 "Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. "
The Lord would use her request to teach a powerful lesson about being a servant. Mat 20:26 "But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;"
The Lord corrected her thinking. Though she was like most parents, and wanting the best for her sons.......she was still being selfish. And the Lord taught her the secret to sucess. It is through serving.
Near the cross......our selfishness thinking will be corrected. Near the cross........we’ll witness the selflessness of our Lord, and his sacrificial death for our sins. Near the cross......we will begin to put things into the right perspective, and begin to see life in a different way !
Near the cross we’ll gain an understanding of the honor of being a servant of his.
III. Mary the mother of Jesus...........Near The Cross We’ll Find A Committed Life.
In Mary, I see the picture of a committed life.
She was committed to God when she was young, and thus was chosen to be the mother of Jesus. She was committed to the Lord as she cared for him, raised him, taught him, and watched him develop. She was committed to him in his ministry by supporting him. And now she is committed to him all the way to the cross.
Mary was saved........not because she gave birth to Jesus, but because she believed in who he was, and why he came. Listen to the words that she spoke after hearing the words that she would give birth to Christ.