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April 15 – Jesus’ third word on the cross

He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.John 19:26, 27

Scripture reading: John 19:17-27

About 33 years earlier, Mary and Joseph brought the infant Jesus to the temple. While there, Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God for letting him see God’s salvation. While Joseph and Mary marveled at all this, Simeon blessed them also and prophesied about what Christ would do. As he spoke, he turned to Mary and said, “And a sword will pierce through your own soul also” (See Luke 2:22-35).

That sword thrust came as she watched her Son hanging, nailed to the cross.

But Jesus, loving her in spite of His agony, cared for His earthly mother. Many may wonder why He addressed her as “woman” thinking it sounds rather cold and heartless. But Jesus is actually telling her that she must see Him not simply as her Son, but as her Saviour and Lord. At the same time, as a faithful Son, He appointed John to take her in and care for her. From that point on, John would be her guardian, provider and protector.

Jesus’ third word on the cross is a word of love and affection. But while this particular word is directed toward Mary and John, it is that very same love and affection for you and me that compelled Him to give His life. Christ, by taking our sins upon Himself, provided us with our greatest need – forgiveness and reconciliation with God. Oh, what love! Oh, what joy!

Suggestions for prayer

Give thanks that God has provided your needs, both materially as well as spiritually.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Derrick Vander Meulen is the minister of Coram Deo Reformation Church(URC) in Littleton, Colorado.

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