“But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.” (John 19:25)
Jesus’ miracles were impressive. His teaching possessed authority. Large crowds followed Him. As some of His followers remarked later, “we had hoped that He was the one to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21). But when Jesus was arrested by the Romans, these hopes were shattered. The crowds demanded His crucifixion. Matthew 26:56 even says that “all the disciples left Him and fled”.
But some of Jesus’ followers were standing by the cross to watch His suffering and death. Among them was His mother Mary. She did not turn away from her Son when everything seemed to go wrong. At this moment, the prophetic words of Simeon to Mary were fulfilled: “A sword will pierce through your own soul” (Luke 2:35).
It must have been heart-wrenching for Mary to watch the intense suffering of her beloved Son, knowing that He had not earned this punishment. Maybe she understood that He died in her place…? I don’t know to which extend Mary grasped that the child that she delivered, would now deliver her by dying in her place.
Take a moment to ponder both the horror and the glory of Jesus’ atoning death on the cross.