But Standing by the Cross…

“When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, ‘Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.’ This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,

‘They divided my garments among them,
    and for my clothing they cast lots.’

“So the soldiers did these things,  but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, 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 19:23-27

Two groups stood at the cross, with very different responses. The soldiers were all about blood and get: get the necessary work done (even if justice was cruelly crowd-driven), then get something out of it for me. The women were all about love.

Each morning I can fix my mindset: will I look out for me, or look at Jesus? And throughout the day I’m confronted with choices: what can I gain, or how will I serve? And when we do look to Jesus, we look either for what we can get from Him, or deeply take in what He’s done for me and what it means.

Am I a greedy soldier or generous adorer? Do I pray a list of all I expect the Lord to give me to fulfill my plans and desires, or do I humbly contemplate what He’s already done and endeavor to use it for His sake? He’s freed us from the penalty of sin, yet we mire in its magnetism and shame, make excuses for falling, and pridefully compare ourselves to ‘inferior sinners.’ He’s given us peace and sure hope, yet we fret and squabble and strive in discontent, and ask for deliverance from difficulties. He’s entrusted to us heaven’s riches, yet we worry over stuff and security and demand more. (Colossians 1:13)

How would my days be different, how could I be loving more selflessly, serving with more abandon, giving more generously, investing my time more wisely, if I stood still more often at the foot of the cross?

“O teach me what it meaneth,
That cross uplifted high,
With One, the Man of Sorrows,
Condemned to bleed and die!
O teach me what it cost Thee
To make a sinner whole;
And teach me, Savior, teach me
The value of a soul!

O teach me what it meaneth,
That sacred crimson tide,
The blood and water flowing
From Thine own wounded side.
Teach me that if none other
Had sinned, but I alone,
Yet still Thy blood, Lord Jesus,
Thine only, must atone.

O teach me what it meaneth,
Thy love beyond compare,
The love that reacheth deeper
Than depths of self-despair!
Yes, teach me, till there gloweth
In this cold heart of mine
Some feeble, pale reflection
Of that pure love of Thine.” ~Lucy A. Bennett


One thought on “But Standing by the Cross…”

  1. Oh wow, I needed this simple reminder today on Good Friday – to look at Christ instead of myself or getting things done (even good things – like BSF lectures:) and my gaze on Jesus form my whole day. 🤍🤍🤍


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: