Near the Cross
By Jeff Cranston
If you and I had been in Jerusalem that Passover afternoon when Jesus was crucified, I wonder how near the cross we would have stood. Read John 19:25-27. There were many onlookers on that hill where Jesus was being crucified, and many of them were followers of Jesus, including:
Mary Magdalene—She was the woman whom Jesus cast out seven demons (Luke 8:2). How grateful she must have been, and how quickly and completely she fell into line to follow her Deliverer! For Mary Magdalene, the cross was a place of redemption. Some of you today also need to find a place of redemption. Just like Mary, you need a fresh start.
Mary, the wife of Clopas—We really know nothing about her, other than to whom she was married. No doubt, as she stood witnessing the lengths to which Jesus was willing to go for her sake, she was inspired to go to whatever lengths were required in living for His sake! For her, the cross was a place of resolve! Let the cross be a place of resolve for you to remain faithful to live for the One who died for you!
Salome—She was the wife of Zebedee and mother of James and John. Salome believed in Jesus to the point that she interceded with Him on behalf of her sons, asking for a special place for them in His future Kingdom as recorded in Matthew 20:20-22. For her, the cross was a place of rebuke. It was where she finally understood that life in the Kingdom of God has nothing to do with seeking one’s personal preferences. It has, instead, to do with sharing our Lord’s passion for seeing a world that is lost in sin find forgiveness through His love!
Mary, the mother of Jesus—As a mother, it would have been natural for Mary to make some attempt to see her son’s life spared! But she didn’t. Why? Because she chose to submit her will to God’s will. As a result, she was rewarded with a blessing far greater than she could have ever imagined! God wants to bless you as well! Be reminded of the fact that Jesus died so that you might live. Submit yourself to His will for your life today! Therein is the reward.
John, the Beloved Disciple—As John stood at the foot of the cross, he was given a responsibility. Jesus assigned John to care for his mother, Mary. John was more than willing to assume this responsibility in light of the sacrifice Jesus had made for him. Just as surely as the Lord had an important task for John to perform, He has a task for each of us today. Hear the voice of the Savior as He assigns you a specific task to do, then go and do it!
The Holy Spirit is saying, “Draw near to the cross!” As you do, some of you will find it a place of redemption, others a place of resolve, others a place of rebuke, others a place of reward, and to others a place of responsibility!
None of us can go back to the beginning of our life and make a brand-new start; but because of the cross, we can start from where we are and make a brand-new end.