1. Hello listening friends, we are delighted that you have tuned in to listen to this program once more.
2. As you know we have been in a chain of messages of the words of Jesus from the cross and they are seven in number.
3. And I want to talk to you about the caring spirit.
4. When Jesus was suspended between heaven and earth on the tool of torture that has become the instrument of love he said seven things.
5. In the last two broadcasts we heard the first two statements from the cross.
6. In his suspension, he was the Son of God, yet not in heaven.
7. He was the Son of Man and yet not on earth.
8. He was just suspended.
9. We saw the first two statements of Jesus exercising his divine prerogative.
10. First, he said, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.
11. Thus he was exercising his high priestly role of intercession.
12. In the second statement, he exercised his diving prerogative as he received prayer of repentance being King.
13. Those two statements revealed his divinity.
14. Therefore, it is natural that the third statement has to do with his humanity.
15. The Scripture clearly teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ was fully God, at the same time was fully man.
16. He has both natures fully and the Bible displays both side by side.
17. His divinity and supernatural power over nature was displayed in splendor when he rebuked the wind and silenced the storm.
18. His humanity was revealed when he was asleep in the boat.
19. His divinity was exercised when he called out in a loud voice, “Lazarus”, and a dead man who had been dead four days, got up out of the grave and walked.
20. His humanity was revealed when he wept at Lazarus’ tomb.
21. If the doctors would say to me that I have a few days to live, no matter how involved I am in my work and with the world outside the last few precious moments I would want to spend caring for my family.
22. And so it was with Jesus at his death.
23. The circle of his involvement began to narrow.
24. He first prayed for his transgressors.
25. Those who nailed him to the cross.
26. Secondly, the circle begins to narrow.
27. And he became involved with just one person who was in need.
28. Then the circle narrowed further when he concentrated upon his family.
29. In fact, these were the last words Jesus spoke directly to anyone or about anyone.
30. In the gospel account, John tells us just as the soldiers were gambling over his seamless outer garment, Jesus looked at Mary.
31. According to Jewish tradition,
32. The last thing a Jewish mother does for her son before leaving for his larger public life was to present him an outer garment that is sewn with her own hands.
33. So as he watched the gambling for his seamless outer garment, which Mary had made for him, his eyes fell on his mother Mary.
34. Mary represents all those who stand by Christ, even in the midst of discouragement and misunderstandment.
35. Mary stands by the cross, not only brokenhearted, watching her son tortured and tormented, but no doubt confused, bereaved, and bewildered.
36. When the angel Gabriel proclaimed to her the good news of her carrying in her womb the divine Son of God the Bible said Mary was troubled.
37. And this becomes Mary’s lot in life, she was often troubled and puzzled.
38. She was puzzled with the news of a child without an earthly father.
39. She was puzzled when there was no room in the inn.
40. She was puzzled when Harod the great decided to kill all the children that she had to leave and flee to Egypt.
41. She was puzzled when she saw people accuse him falsely and were out to trick him and destroy him.
42. She was puzzled when they called him illegitimate and a wine-bibber and of the devil.
43. And now she is puzzled again, as her heart breaks in two, seeing her son hanging on an instrument of torture.
44. And if you are a faithful follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, no doubt there are many times in your life when you are puzzled.
45. You may be puzzled as to why God did not answer your prayers.
46. You may be puzzled as to why is this and why is that.
47. You may be puzzled at the seemingly unjust and unfair things that happen to you.
48. But like Mary, you and I are to stand firm in obedience to the will of God knowing that He has the whole world in his hands.
49. In fact, this was the subject of prophecy that seemed unusual at the time.
50. When Jesus was about a month old, his mother and Joseph took him to the temple and there Simian the priest uttered the first prophetic words in the New Testament.
51. And he looked at what must have been at the time a teenage girl with a child without a husband and he said to her, a sword will pierce your own soul too.
52. Ten months earlier, she was told that she was highly favored.
53. Ten months earlier, she said, every generation will call me blessed.
54. Ten months earlier, the angel said to her, the one she is carrying will inherit the throne of David.
55. I am sure if you were in her place, you would be puzzled too.
56. But she stood there by the cross as a symbol of every one of us who may be troubled by the will of God.
57. Not reaping the evil that you have sown but suffering for the good that you have done.
58. Mary is a symbol for everyone who is saying, I don’t understand the way God is leading.
59. Mary is a symbol of everyone who is living with disappointment.
60. Mary is a symbol of everyone of us who is saying, things do not work the way they expected.
61. There are times when we think it will be upward and onward with Christ and yet we are going up a hill and the wind is blowing in our face.
62. In Mary we see someone who is puzzled and disappointed about the will of God.
63. Nevertheless, she stood by the cross knowing that God has a perfect will and will ultimately work things out.
64. When I think of this, I think of a man who wrote one of my favorite hymns.
65. The year was 1873.
66. Horatio Spafford was a Christian lawyer from Chicago.
67. He placed his wife and children on a luxury liner, “Villa Da Haver”.
68. It was sailing from New York to France.
69. Spafford expected to join them in three or four weeks after finishing up his business.
70. But with the exception of his wife, he never saw his children again.
71. This is how it happened.
72. The trip started out beautifully.
73. But on the evening of November 21, 1873.
74. As the ship proceeded peacefully across the Atlantic.
75. Suddenly, it was stricken by another vessel.
76. And sank.
77. Less than 30 minutes later, nearly all on board were lost.
78. When she was told that the ship was sinking, Mrs. Spafford knelt with her four children and prayed that they might be saved and made well or to die if such is the will of God.
79. A few minutes later in the confusion three of the children were swept away by the waves while she stood clutching the youngest.
80. And then suddenly the youngest child was swept from her arms.
81. And Mrs. Spafford became unconscious and woke up later to find that she had been rescued by sailors from another ship, but the four children were gone.
82. Back in the United States, Horatio Spafford was waiting for news of his family.
83. And at last 10 days after the rescuing ship had reached the shore a message came.
84. Safe, alone.
85. That night Spafford walked the floor and went from room to room in anguish as anyone would have done.
86. But this was not all.
87. For as he shared his loss with his Lord.
88. A loss which could not be reversed in this life.
89. He found as many people have, peace which passes all understanding.
90. He was puzzled yes, but quietly trusting.
91. Toward morning, he told his friend, I am glad to be able to trust my Lord when it costs me something.
92. Then sometime later, as he reflected on the disaster at sea, he wrote this hymn.
93. When peace like a river attends my soul.
94. When sorrow like sea billows roll.
95. Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, it is well with my soul.
96. Though Satan should buffet though trials should come, let this blessed assurance control.
97. That Christ has regarded my helpless estate and has shed his own blood for my soul.
98. My sin, o the bliss of the glorious thought my sin, not in part but the whole.
1. Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul.
2. And Lord hasten the day when the faith shall be sight, the clouds be rolled back like a scroll.
3. The trumpet shall sound and the Lord shall descend, and even so, it is well with my soul.
4. That is what all of us must do.
5. We must stand beneath a cross like Mary looking up at Jesus.
6. So much for Mary, now what about John?
7. John is an example of a believer who does not stay away for far too long.
8. Jesus told the disciple a few hours earlier in the 26th chapter of Matthew that all of them will fall away on account of him.
9. It is interesting to see how a commander-in-chief tells his generals on the eve of his greatest battle that they are going to fall away.
10. In Matthew 26:35, Peter said,
11. Even if I have to die with you, I will never disavow you.
13. Read further,
14. It says, all the other disciples said the same thing, and John was included.
15. By the time you get to verse 56 of Matthew 26 you read the following.
16. That all of his disciples deserted him and fled, all of them, no exception.
17. We have evidence that John was there at the time of the trial of Jesus when all others were not.
18. And when Caiaphas asked him in John 18:19.
19. What of your disciples, who are they, where are they?
20. At that moment John slipped into his own shadow and fled away.
21. Jesus was all alone.
22. But this had to be for a divine reason.
23. For one who dies for the sins of the world had to die absolutely alone.
24. And he was.
25. But it was recorded that John alone came back.
26. While Peter was somewhere wallowing in his tears of sorrow.
27. While Thomas was somewhere living with his doubt,
28. John alone came back and stood with him.
29. But I want you to see Jesus’ attitude toward John.
30. What James said in James (4:4) is an everlasting truth.
31. He said, if we draw near to him, he will draw near to us.
32. Do you know why John was close to Jesus?
33. Because John wanted to be close to Jesus.
34. What it takes for you to be close to the Lord is an absolute desire to be near to him.
35. When John came back the Lord did not rebuke him.
36. He did not say, I told you so.
37. But rather he looked to him with dignity and gave him the highest responsibility that the dying Savior could give anyone around the cross.
38. He said to him, son, behold your mother.
39. Some of you may say.
40. If the truth be known, I have made promises to stay near my Lord.
41. I have made promises to stand for my Lord.
42. I have made promises to walk with him.
43. But the truth is I have neither stood for him or with him.
44. I have ignored him.
45. I have been so busy that I spend no time with him at all.
46. Just like John and all the others I am away from him now.
47. Listen to me my listening friend.
48. You can be like John and come back to him as John came back to him.
49. He will not only restore you he will give you responsibility for his service.
50. He will say, pick up where you have left off.
51. What about the Lord Jesus?
52. Many commentators give the prominence of this passage to Mary standing at the cross.
53. But with all reverence, I want to say that our salvation does not come from Mary standing at the cross, but our salvation comes from Christ on the cross.
54. He has perfectly kept the Law of God for 33 and 1/3 of a year.
55. And now on the cross he is actually obeying the fifth commandment.
56. Honor your father and your mother.
57. And the word here means treat them with dignity.
58. If anyone would have and excuse for not taking care of his mother, it was the Lord Jesus.
59. But he being the perfect man has perfectly obeyed the Law of God.
60. He took care of his mother as he was dying.
61. This of course presupposes the death of Joseph and now the oldest son had to take care of his mother.
62. Jesus could not care for Mary anymore because he became the perfect substitute for our sins.
63. And in looking at John, the Lord said to him, now John, I want you to stand for me.
64. John, my way is going to made through the empty tomb back to the Father and I need you to be my substitute.
65. I need you to take my place.
66. I need you to stand up for me.
67. I need you to speak on my behalf.
68. And I believe the Spirit of God is saying to every one of us today.
69. I need you.
70. And I need you.
71. And I need you.
72. He is calling you by name.
73. Saying, I need you to stand by my church.
74. I need you to stand by my work.
75. I need you to stand by my gospel.
76. I need you to stand by my kingdom.
77. I need you to be my substitute.
78. I need your mind.
79. I need your hands.
80. I need your voice.
81. I need your money.
82. I need your time.
83. Will you say, yes Lord.
84. It is my prayer that you do.
85. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.