“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.”
There has been no darker day in human history than the one described in our text. The Son of God, Emmanuel, Jesus our Savior is suspended between earth and Heaven, as the crucified Lamb of Glory. The powers of darkness are having their day as they do everything possible to destroy the Lord Jesus Christ. The noonday sky grows black as the Light of the World is dying on the cross. While Jesus looks down from Golgotha, what does He see in the way of supporters? “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.”
Standing by the cross of Jesus was His mother, so near as to hear Him speak. She watched her Son in such agony and saw Him endure such insult and rejection. She herself was exposed to great danger in the midst of this hateful mob. And yet, she “stood by the cross of Jesus.” No doubt she needed to be near Him because He was her Son, but she also needed to be near Him because He was her Savior. Here we find loyalty in its highest form. Nothing could pull these women from the side of their Savior and Friend.
Where were all of the disciples at this time? Where were those who boasted loud of their faithfulness and promised that nothing could sever them from the side of Jesus? As the Scripture said, all the disciples forsook Him and fled, except John. They ran when the tide of popularity turned against them. They scattered when their King was crowned with thorns and ran when the crowds cried, “Crucify Him!” Yet, “there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother.”
It might be a somber thing to ask, but perhaps we should consider it. “What would it take for us to abandon Jesus?” Would we remain true to Him no matter what may come? Where would we have been standing on that day of great agony? This scene brings to mind the times we, too, have failed to be loyal to Christ and those who stand with Him. Let it encourage us to be true to our Lord. It is wonderful when family and friends are with us, supporting the Savior’s cause. But it is quite different when those standing with us are far fewer in number. Whatever life brings, may we be found “by the cross of Jesus.”