Tuesday, June 10, 2014

John 19:23-27

John 19:23-27
Therefore the soldiers, when Jesus was crucified, took His outer garments and made four shares – a share for each soldier – as well as His tunic.  But the tunic was seamless, woven through completely out of the top.  Therefore they said to one another, “We should not tear it apart.  But we should cast lots regarding it for whose it will be” – in order that the scripture should be fulfilled: “They divided my outer garments for themselves and upon my clothing they cast lots.”  Therefore in one place the soldiers did these things.  But in another place His mother, His mother’s sister, Mary of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene stood by the cross of Jesus.  Therefore after Jesus saw His mother and the disciple whom He was loving having stood by, He says to His mother, “Woman, behold your son.”  And He says to the disciple, “Behold your mother.”  And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

This picture of Jesus shows the utter indifference that the world has to the fact that Jesus is dying upon the cross.  The soldiers can no doubt hear Jesus in agony upon the cross.  So what do they do?  While He hangs there naked and exposed, they gamble for His clothes.  Such is the world that Jesus came to save through this very death.  He came to save a world that cared more about His clothing than about Him.

In what way does this give a good portrait of the world around us?  Have you ever considered the soldiers actions in this manner before?

Second Thought:

We do know, however, that in a few moments Jesus will die, the temple curtain will be torn, and at least one of the soldiers present will confess that Jesus is the Son of God.  Church tradition tells us that it is reasonable to believe that this experience was so powerful that at least one of these soldiers converts to be a follower of Jesus in the days, months, or years to come.  Imagine being the soldier who gambled for Jesus’ clothing.  Imagine later coming to believe in Jesus as the means through whom you have relationship with God and realizing that you actually gambled for some of His clothing.  Imagine the power evoked in the life of those soldiers even through a despicable act like gambling for Jesus’ clothing while He died in agony upon the cross.

As we continue in this crucifixion story, why is it again powerful to see what Jesus put up with for the sake of the people around Him?  How does this perspective actually show the love of Christ even while they gambled for His clothes?  How does this thought help us understand Christ’s perspective in His desire to save all who are willing to come to Him – and how different that perspective is from our own?

Third Thought:

At the cross, Jesus sees His mother and a beloved disciple.  Imagine looking down upon your mother as you die upon the cross.  Imagine looking upon your son as He dies upon the cross.  What does Mary need at a moment like this?  She needs family.  But look who she has around her.  She has her sister and two other women who are not family.  She has a follower of Jesus who is not her own biological son.  At the pinnacle of God’s work, Jesus is redefining family.  Jesus even literally gives His mother to his disciple to drive the point home.  How impressive are the spiritual bonds that tie us to one another – when we truly allow that spiritual connection to form.  How much stronger are even those spiritual bonds than the bonds of biology – when we actually let them form.  Here these women console one another with one of Jesus’ followers.  This is spiritual family at its best.

Have you ever looked into this scene through the lens of family before?  How does this perspective speak to you in your walk with God?


Passage for Tomorrow: John 19:28-30
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