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May 31

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‘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 1:26-27 NKJV).

From: May 31, 2020

THE THIRD WORD OF JESUS FROM THE CROSS WAS A WORD OF CARE

Reading the four gospels together, there are seven last words of Jesus recorded. Anyone’s last words are considered important, so shouldn’t our Lord Jesus’ words be even more so? This is the third of Jesus’ last words. It is a word of care for his mother and it is particularly poignant. For as Son of God suffered on the cross, he took time to address the needs of his earthly mother.
 
“Woman, behold your son!” He said, looking down upon his mother. Here, we see Christ’s divine concern expressed. Mary was his daughter long before He was her son. Here hangs the Creator, on a cross made from the tree He created, dying for those who have rebelled against Him, yet also taking care of the “woman” whom He had chosen to be His mother. God had chosen Mary to be Christ’s earthly mother, that He might become flesh and die for us. He wanted Mary to see beyond her role as mother and he as her son. He wanted her to believe in Him as Savior!
 
“Behold your mother!” He told his disciple, John. He gave charge of His mother to him. And John was faithful to His call: “And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” Yet, this relational calling implies more. John was called to care for Mary as his mother because they both believed in Jesus as Savior and Lord. She was indeed as a mother to him. This is the relational calling of those who belong to Christ.
 
C. H. Spurgeon saw in this not only the Lord’s care for his mother, but for his church. He wrote, “‘Take her as your mother, stand in My place, care for her as I have cared for her.’ Those who love Christ best shall have the honor of taking care of His Church and of His poor. Never say of any poor relative or friend, the widow or the fatherless, “They are a great burden to me.” Oh, no! Say, “They are a great honor to me—my Lord has entrusted them to my care.” John thought so—let us think so. Jesus selected the disciple He loved best to take His mother under his care. He selects those whom He loves best today, and puts His poor people under their wings. Take them gladly and treat them well.”
 
Have you ever wondered whether God cares? Especially asking, “Does God care for me?” I’ve heard some say, “I’m sure God has better things to do than care about my little problems. Shouldn’t He be busy solving world hunger or peace on earth?” What do you think? Does God care for the details of your little life? Or is He too busy running the universe?
 
In this third word from the cross, we can see how much God cares for us. He cares for the big stuff and He cares for the little stuff too. There’s no detail too small for His loving care.
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, we thank You for Your care for us. For You care about the details, both great and small. You cared enough for Mary to not only die for her sins, but to make arrangements for her care. What intimate love You have for us. What relational love You have offered to us through Jesus! Now we ask You to fill us with Your love and care that we might share it with others today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“When Ahithophel realized that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey, went to his hometown, set his affairs in order, and hanged himself” (2 Samuel 17:23 NLT).

From: May 31, 2019

THE FIRST JUDAS

The story of David’s betrayal by Ahithophel foreshadows that of Jesus by Judas. David wept on the Mount of Olives as he left Jerusalem, as Jesus did on the night of his betrayal. David was betrayed by a trusted advisor, who later hung himself. Jesus was betrayed by one of his own disciples, who also hung himself.
 
Yet, God protected David from betrayal and restored him to the throne. But “His own Son He did not spare, but delivered Him up for us all” (Rom. 8:32).
 
The Old Testament prepares us for the Jesus story, which is the gospel story. Yet, only those with eyes to see and ears to hear will believe.
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You for Jesus. Thank You for the whole of Scripture which points to Him on every page. May we also point to Jesus with every effort, word and deed of our lives. Give us grace for this day. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out” (John 19:34 NKJV).

From: May 31, 2017

The apostle John, who was the only disciple near the cross when Jesus was crucified, was also the only gospel writer who reported these final details of Christ’s death. Perhaps John made sure to include his eyewitness testimony of the grisly details because of the Gnostic heresy that was already at large by the time of John’s writing.
 
The Gnostics (From the Greek word gnōsis, meaning “knowledge”) believed that they had obtained mystical or secret knowledge of the divine. They saw the material world as inherently evil and only the spiritual as good. Therefore, they rejected the idea that Jesus had actually come in the flesh. And as a result, they rejected that Jesus had truly died on the cross. In their view, “it only appeared” as if Jesus had died (The Gnostic heresy clearly affected Islam’s view of the crucifixion as the Quran uses an almost identical description).
 
John’s gospel was especially concerned with reporting the diligence of the Roman executioners in confirming Christ’s physical death. He reported the soldier’s spear piercing Christ’s side and the mixture of “blood and water” pouring out. Although John had no awareness of modern medical knowledge, physicians today have noted that a piercing of the pericardium, the fluid-filled membrane surrounding the heart, would’ve resulted in the sight that John witnessed. The blood and water was a sure sign of Christ’s death.
 
John followed his reporting of the blood and water with a strong declaration that reminds one of a courtroom witness taking an oath to speak the truth. He said, “And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe” (John 19:35).
 
John wanted to make sure that everyone knew that he had witnessed Christ’s physical death. For if Jesus didn’t die, there would be no redemption, no payment for our sin. And if Jesus didn’t die, there would be no need for his resurrection.
 
But Jesus did die and He was raised. That is the truth that John reported. And that is the truth that we believe.

‘When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit’ (John 19:30 ESV)

From: May 31, 2016

The final words of Jesus on the cross were not words of defeat, but of ultimate victory. He shouted, “It is finished!” His last words expressed exultation at accomplishing the task He had come to complete. In the Greek, it is one word: Τετέλεσται (Tetelestai), which is in the perfect tense. The basic thought of the perfect tense is that the progress of an action has been completed and the results of the action are continuing on, in full effect. In other words, the progress of the action has reached its culmination and the finished results are now in existence. It might also be translated: “fulfilled, accomplished, paid-in-full.” Essentially, Jesus, with this one word, “tetelestai,” announced that He had accomplished His God-given mission, fulfilling every prophetic detail, and paid-in-full the price for our sins, so that we might be forgiven and receive eternal life. His salvation work is complete and its finished results are even now in existence for those who would believe on Him.

‘So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit’ (John 19:30 NKJV)

From: May 31, 2015

The final words of Jesus on the cross were not words of defeat, but of ultimate victory. He shouted, “It is finished!” His last words expressing exultation at accomplishing the task He had come to complete. In the Greek, it is one word: Τετέλεσται (Tetelestai), which is in the perfect tense. The basic thought of the perfect tense is that the progress of an action has been completed and the results of the action are continuing on, in full effect. In other words, the progress of the action has reached its culmination and the finished results are now in existence. It might also be translated: “fulfilled, accomplished, paid-in-full.” Essentially, Jesus, with this one word, “tetelestai,” announced that He had accomplished His God-given mission, fulfilling every prophetic detail, and paid-in-full the price for our sins, so that we might be forgiven and receive eternal life. His salvation work is complete and its finished results are even now in existence for those who would believe on Him.

“When Ahithophel realized that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey, went to his hometown, set his affairs in order, and hanged himself” (2 Samuel 17:23 NLT)

From: May 31, 2014

The story of David’s betrayal foreshadows that of Jesus. David wept on the Mount of Olives as he left Jerusalem. He was betrayed by a trusted advisor. And his advisor later hung himself. The Old Testament prepares us for the Jesus story, which is the gospel story. Yet, only those with eyes to see and ears to hear will believe.

“When Ahithophel realized that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey, went to his hometown, set his affairs in order, and hanged himself” (2 Samuel 17:23)

From: May 31, 2012

In many ways the story of David’s betrayal foreshadows that of Jesus. David wept at the Mount of Olives. He was betrayed by a trusted advisor. And his advisor later hung himself. The OT prepares us for the Jesus story.

“He put his house in order and then hanged himself” (2 Samuel 17:23)

From: May 31, 2011

After betraying David, Ahithophel committed suicide. This foreshadows Judas with Jesus. There was much in the life and times of David that pointed to the Messiah. But only those with hearing ears and receptive hearts were able to believe.