Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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Victory! Our Hope in Christ
Terry R. Baughman
“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, .… When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” (John 19:25–27).
One of the most tender moments at the scene of the cross was this final interchange between Jesus and His mother. Of course, she was there. She followed His life as closely as she could and was present whenever possible. She was the one who pushed Him to do something at the wedding in Cana of Galilee when the host ran out of wine. Jesus resisted at first, but His mother knew that it was time for Him to begin the ministry for which He had been born. (See John 2:1–11.)
She observed many of the miracles performed by Jesus, saw the massive crowds that gathered to hear His teaching, and heard the praise and the criticism among the onlookers. Having a mother’s intuition she could tell when the public sentiment turned adversarial and they began threatening violence. She feared for His life, yet she knew that was part of the plan as well. How well she remembered the words of Simeon in the Temple, when Jesus was just eight days old, “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too” (Luke 2:34–35 NIV).
She was aware of every event and traced the steps as Jesus fulfilled His destiny and followed after the calling of His ministry. When the messenger ran to her door late on the night of the Passover, it was with a sense of dread she released the latch and invited him in. Jesus was apprehended in the Garden and taken to the high priest. Maybe it was outside the chambers where the religious council convened, or maybe it was following the crowd that gathered to escort Jesus to appeal to Pilate to bring judgment upon Him, but somewhere Mary found where Jesus was and stayed as close as she could to follow the proceedings and hear of His fate. Her love for Him far exceeded any fear of danger to herself. She wept as she followed Jesus through the judgment, the visit to Herod, the scourging, and finally the path of suffering as the sadistic entourage led Jesus to Golgotha.
In spite of the searing pain, the nausea and the weakness that Jesus suffered, He remembered His mother kneeling close by as the other women sought to comfort her as they also grieved. He also saw John, the only disciple that remained faithful to the end while the others fled in fear. In a few words uttered in His dying moments, Jesus acknowledged His mother and indicated that John should take care of her and that Mary would receive John as one of her sons. His final act on the cross was to assure that His mother would be taken care of after His death.
Throughout the thirty-three years of the life of Jesus, Mary had loved Him and cared for Him. Throughout His ministry she was content in the background and remained supportive to the end. Mary demonstrated the depths of a mother’s love. That love was rewarded by Jesus’ final acts.
The love of Jesus is enduring and strong. His character is love and His plan is redemption. We need never be afraid. Paul said, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).