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Behold Your Mother: A Precious Moment at the Cross

Updated: Apr 25

For Good Friday this year, our church had a special service where four of the members prepared to speak about the seven sayings of Jesus at the Cross. Of course, I had heard the story countless times before, so I knew that Jesus said, "Behold Your Mother." However, I hadn't before thought about what those three words tell us about Jesus and his immense love for his mother. I know it's a little past Easter, but I really enjoyed writing these words and thought I'd share them here.

(I wrote another one about Jesus saying, "Why have you forsaken me?" at the cross. You can find that post here.)

Jesus at the Cross with Mary and disciples
Photo by Grant Whitty on Unsplash

John 19:25-26

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 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!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

Jesus, God’s own Son, had been ruthlessly flogged, unabashedly ridiculed, and hung on a cross. His whole body is writhing in pain. And as he is experiencing this excruciating physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual pain, he looks up and sees his mother, Mary. She bore him and raised him. She endured her own pain and suffering in order to bring the Savior, her precious son, into the world. And now she looks at him there, on the cross, the Great Helper—completely helpless. Her body writhes with its own pain. Next to her stands John, the “favorite” disciple of Jesus. Jesus, laying aside his own suffering, looks up and sees Mary. He sees past her bloodshot eyes and her tear-stained face. He sees her bereft, empty, pleading soul. In a time where women were unnoticed and pushed aside, Jesus sees her. Though it’s likely John already would have treated Mary as his mother, Jesus makes sure to instruct him to take care of her, to love her as his own mother. And in doing so, he tenderly cares for Mary’s tired, weary heart while his own tired, weary heart breaks for the sins of the world.

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