At the Foot of the Cross

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 who he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”
– John 19:25-27a

Today is Good Friday, the day that Christians and followers of Christ reflect on the crucifixion and death of Jesus.  There was a darkness that fell over the land and as Jesus breathed his last breath, the temple curtain was torn in two, from the top down.  Jesus’s death was a sacrifice for us all, whether we accept it or not.

We all know the Easter story, when the women found the empty grave on the third day.  But that is a reflection for a different day.

Lets look back at the cross.  Religion focuses a lot on the pain and suffering of Christ our King.  I cringe each time I think of it, but look closely.  Who is standing there at the foot of the cross?

Some women were watching from a distance.  Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome.  In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs.  Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.
– Mark 15:40-41

But those that knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
– Luke 23:49

They were watching from a distance.  Nobody but the guards mocking him were at the foot of the cross.

Why?  Where were his disciples?  His chosen few who followed him everywhere?  Why, in all the Gospel accounts was it only mentioned in one that a single disciple of his was within speaking distance?  Were they afraid?  Did they all run and hide?

Like them, many times we find ourselves running away from God.  Be it shame.  Misunderstandings.  Fear.  Or persecution.  We have found ourselves no longer at the foot of the cross, but hiding in the upper room.  We are just like His disciples.

And God does funny things when we run from Him.  Look at Jonah and the whale.  Look at what happened to the disciples.

We may feel as if God abandoned us.  We no longer have a physical being here beside us, guiding our hands and feet.  But God sent the greatest gift to the terrified hearts of those who followed him.  Tongues of flame.  The Advisor.  The Spirit of God settled upon them.  And He has made His dwelling in each of us.

Even though we have run away, He still accepts us.  Even though we have sinned.  Even though we still sin.  He has called us His own.

Jesus told his disciple that His mother was now part of his family, we are brothers and sisters through faith.  We are a family because we have each been accepted by our Father.  He takes us as we are, where we are, and makes us precious in His sight.

We are washed by the blood that flowed forth on that cross, and for that I am thankful.


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