Seven Last Words
“Woman, behold thy son.”
Jesus spent his last evening washing feet, giving last-minute encouragement to his disciples, praying in the garden while the disciples slept, and then betrayed and standing a religious trial. At dawn, He had been taken to Pilate and experienced the leaders of His people yelling, “We have no God but Caesar!”
After enduring an exchange of question and answer, He was finally turned over for crucifixion in return for a notorious insurrectionist. Beaten and insulted by the Roman soldiers, He now finds Himself hanging on a cross, being jeered yet again by those who should know better.
Before He dies, there is one last detail He needs to handle. He has to make arrangements for mom. Jesus is her oldest son, and some believe her only son. In the culture of the day, she will not have anyone to care for her when He’s dead. It is his responsibility to make sure she is entrusted to someone.
Looking down from the cross, he sees a handful of people. This small clutch includes His mother and the disciple we understand as one of His closest followers. While He still has strength, He makes introductions of sorts, entrusting Mary to John for the rest of her life. Tradition tells us that she lives with John for eleven years following Jesus’ death.
What do we see in this vignette? We have God, the One through whom all things are made, and by whom all things are sustained, being killed viciously by His own people. He allows them to kill Him because He loves them and this is the way they will return to God.
Even so, this God before He completes this cosmic, planned before time mission, in writhing physical pain and mounting emotional and psychic pain, takes time to care for a creature. He will not allow Himself to complete His Father-directed task until he ensures that Mary will not be left alone in this world.
God stops or delays what He is doing to care for people. How cool is that?
He loves you in the same way. Let Him care for you.
What does it mean to you, that God took time to make sure that Mary was cared for before He died?
Have you ever thought that maybe God wasn’t with you—that He may have left you out to dry? How did you work through that? If you’re in the middle of it right now, might knowing that Jesus cared for Mary even in the midst of his anguish help you reconnect with God?
We humans often get caught up in our own lives, our own important tasks. Sometimes we lose sight of the people around us and forget to care for them. Who in your life have you overlooked?
What do you need to do?