7 Words From The Cross

Day 3 of 7 • This day’s reading

A word of compassion

When I’m in pain, I have no patience or compassion for anybody else but me. If I bang my thumb with a hammer and my wife asks me if I’m all right, I bark back, “No! Of course I’m not all right.”

All the more extraordinary that while he was in his death agony Jesus was thinking about his mother. Left unsaid in the biblical narrative is where his stepdad Joseph was (maybe dead) and where Mary’s other sons were (perhaps not believers at this time). But Mary was there and, as had been prophesied 33 years earlier, a sword was piercing her own soul.

Jesus cared deeply for her and wanted to make some important arrangements: “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, ‘Woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother’” (John 19:25-27).

John, the “disciple whom Jesus loved,” was the only one to come back to witness the crucifixion. It was to him that Jesus entrusted the care of his mother, a charge that John would certainly execute faithfully. In an era without a government safety net, John would be her source of support.

A true servant till the end, our Savior was thinking about the needs of others.