1. Hello, listening friends.
2. We welcome you, once again, to this series of broadcasts on the words of Jesus from the cross.
3. When Jesus was suspended between Heaven and earth on the cross,
4. Jesus said seven things.
5. In the last two messages, we saw the first two of the seven statements from the cross.
6. First, He said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
7. In this, He was exercising His high priestly role of intercession.
8. In the second statement, He exercised His divine prerogative,
9. by receiving the prayer of repentance of a dying sinner.
10. These two statements revealed His divinity;
11. therefore, it is natural that the third statement has to do with His humanity.
12. The Scripture clearly teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ was fully God while, at the same time, fully man.
13. The Bible displays both natures, side by side.
14. His divinity and supernatural power over nature were displayed in splendor when He rebuked the wind and silenced the storm;
15. but, earlier, His humanity was revealed, when He was asleep in the boat.
16. He exercise His divine power, when He called out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out of the tomb,”
17. and a dead man for four days got up out of the grave and walked;
18. but, four days earlier, His humanity was revealed, when He wept.
19. Please look with me at John, Chapter 19, beginning at verse 25.
20. Let us read it together.
21. Imagine if doctors were to tell you that you have a few days to live.
22. I am sure that you would want to spend your last, precious moments caring for your family;
23. and so it was with Jesus at His death.
24. His circle of involvement began to narrow.
25. First, He prayed for His transgressors,
26. those who nailed Him to the cross;
27. then, secondly, He became involved with one person who was in need;
28. and, then, the circled narrowed further, when He concentrated on His family.
29. In fact, those were the last words Jesus spoke to anyone about anyone.
30. In the Gospel account, John tells us that, while the soldiers were gambling over His outer garment,
31. Jesus looked at Mary,
32. and saw Mary standing by the cross,
33. not only broken-hearted, watching her son tortured and tormented,
34. but certainly she was confused, bereaved and bewildered.
35. The Bible said Mary was troubled.
36. Trouble becomes Mary’s lot in life and that caused her puzzlement.
37. She was puzzled, when the Angel Gabriel told her that she was carrying the Son of God in her womb.
38. She was puzzled, when there was no room in the inn.
39. She was puzzled, when Herod the Great decided to kill all the children and she had to flee to Egypt.
40. She was puzzled, when she saw people accuse Jesus falsely;
41. and, now, she is puzzled again as her heart breaks in two, seeing her Son hanging on that instrument of torture.
42. My listening friend, please listen to what I am going to tell you.
43. If you are a faithful follower of the Lord Jesus Christ,
44. there will be times in your life when you are puzzled –
45. puzzled as to why God did not answer your prayers,
46. puzzled at the seemingly unjust and unfair things that happen to you;
47. but, like Mary, you are to stand firm in obedience to the will of God,
48. knowing that He has the whole world in His hand.
49. In fact, this was the subject of prophecy that seemed unusual at the time.
50. When Jesus was about one month old,
51. Mary and Joseph took Him to the Temple;
52. and, there, Simeon, the priest, uttered the first prophetic words in the New Testament.
53. Simeon took the Baby Jesus into his arms and said,
54. “This Child is destined to cause the falling and the rising of many in Israel
55. and to be spoken against so that the thoughts of many will be revealed…”
56. and, then, he looked at Mary with a Child without a husband, and he said to her,
57. “A sword will pierce your own soul, too.”
58. I am sure, if you were in her place, you would be puzzled, too;
59. but Mary stood there by the cross, representing every one of us who may be troubled by the will of God,
60. not reaping the evil that you have sown,
61. but suffering for the good that you have done.
62. Mary represents everyone who is saying, “I do not understand the way God is leading.”
63. She represents everyone who is living with disappointment.
64. She represents every one of us who is saying, “Things did not work the way we expected.”
65. When you think that everything is going upward and onward in Christ,
66. then, you find yourself going uphill with the wind blowing at your face,
67. in these times in your life, you must stand beneath the cross, like Mary, looking up to Jesus.
68. What about John the Apostle?
69. John is a good example of a believer who does not stay away for too long.
70. Jesus told the Disciples before His crucifixion in Matthew, Chapter 26,
71. that all of them will fall away on account of him;
72. and, in verse 35 of Matthew 26, Peter said,
73. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disavow you...”
74. but, by the time you get to verse 56 of Matthew 26,
75. you read that all His Disciples deserted Jesus and fled --
76. all of them, without exception.
77. We have evidence that John was there at the time of the trial of Jesus when all others were not,
78. and, when Caiaphas asked Jesus, in John 18:19,
79. “What of your Disciples?
80. Who are they? Where are they?”
81. John slipped into the shadows and fled away.
82. Jesus was absolutely alone;
83. but this had to be for divine reasons,
84. for the One who dies for the sins of the world had to die absolutely alone;
85. but it was recorded that John, alone, came back.
86. While Peter was somewhere, wallowing in his tears of sorrow,
87. while Thomas was somewhere, living with his doubts,
88. John, alone, came back and stood with Jesus;
89. but I want you to see Jesus’ attitude toward John.
90. What James said in 4:8 is an everlasting truth.
91. “If we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us.”
92. Let me ask you this, my listening friend,
93. do you know why John was close to Jesus?
94. Because John wanted to be close to Jesus.
95. What it takes is your absolute desire to be near Jesus,
96. and He will draw near to you.
97. When John came back, the Lord did not rebuke him;
98. but, rather, He looked to him with dignity and He gave him a great responsibility.
99. He said, “Son, behold your mother.”
100. Some of you may say,
101. “I have made promises to stand by my Lord.
102. I have made promises to walk with Him;
103. but, the truth is, I have neither stood for Him or with Him.
104. I have ignored Him.”
105. My beloved friend, I want to tell you this:
106. I want to tell you, today, that you can come back to Jesus.
107. He will not only restore you. He will give you responsibility for His service.
108. He will say to you, “Pick up where you have left off.”
109. What about the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself?
110. Some people give prominence to this passage of Mary, standing at the cross;
111. but, with all reverence, I want to say that our salvation does not come from Mary standing at the cross,
112. but our salvation comes from the Christ on the cross.
113. He has kept the laws perfectly,
114. and, now, on the cross, He actually is obeying the fifth commandment,
115. “Honor your father and your mother.”
116. The word, here, means, “treat them with dignity.”
117. He took care of His mother, as He was dying, and entrusted her to the care of John.
118. Jesus could not care for Mary anymore, because He became the perfect substitute for our sins;
119. and, in looking at John, the Lord said to John, “Now, I want you to stand for Me.
120. My way is going to be made through the empty tomb back to the Father,
121. and I need you to be My substitute.
122. I want you to take My place.
123. I need you to stand up for Me.
124. I need you to speak on My behalf...”
125. and, my beloved friend, I want to tell you something of uttermost importance, as I close.
126. I believe the Spirit of God is saying the same thing to all of us today.
127. He is calling you by name.
128. He is saying to you, “You stand in My place.
129. You should proclaim My message.”
130. Will you say, “Lord Jesus, I will?”
131. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.