The Glory of God through the Gory and the Grotesque
Joh:19:25: Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
Joh:19:26: When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
Joh:19:27: Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
Joh:19:28: After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
Joh:19:29: Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.
Joh:19:30: When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
When your are yielded to God
You will come to your cross
But be not moved by what you see
Be wedded to your purpose and the word.
Your resolve will bring out the worst in your enemies
But it will bring out the best in you.
Here we see Jesus on the cross experiencing excruciating pain yet he was thinking of the well-being, the provision and care for his mother after His death. And so He told his Mother, ‘Woman behold your son.’ and turning to the disciple whom He loved He told him, ‘Son behold your mother.’ And from then on the disciple took her home. This implied that her took care of her as his mother. We can see the love and care of Jesus for his mother, despite what he was going through. His cross brought out the best in Him. God was glorified.
That is what God wants from our trials – that his name will be glorified as they bring out the best in us. Jesus was not focusing on himself but on others. He was protecting others even though He was dying.
We also see the lesson that we should make provision for our family. Paul enjoins us that those who do not provide for their family are worse than infidels (unbelievers). So if you‘re unemployed use this scripture to pray that God will give you a vision and purpose for life to go our and acquire a skill through which you can provide for your family. God does not want us to be idle but working to meet our m=needs and that of our family and even support His church.
We live in a country (UK) where the welfare system can make some people dependent on the state rather than being dependent on God. Such people are quick to take the handout given thereby ignoring to pray for God’s direction and provision and so doing wasting their talents and potentials. Everyone of us has a given which can be discovered through difficulties, hardships and pressures of life but if we take the easy option our gifts will never be discovered, let alone honed, developed and deployed.
Secondly we see that with just a few words spoken, the disciple understood His Master and knew what to do without question. This is discipleship at work. The disciple is quick to understand what his master is saying even with just a look, he grasps the meaning of the look and runs with the vision. That is what the Lord would like us to be – not mere Christians but disciples who are quick to understand Him and also quick to obey.
Thirdly, when Jesus said ‘I thirst’, they gave Him vinegar to drink. And we are told, ’that the scriptures might be fulfilled.’ I looked up what that meant and discovered that Psalm 69:21 indicated that they gave him poison to drink’ and the Holy spirit ensure that that prophetic word was fulfilled when Jesus was on the Cross.
This tells me that the word of God will never be broken. Heaven and earth may pass away but the word of God shall be proved true. Following from there I know that if I hold on to the Lord, obey him, even if I meet face to face with my cross, it will bring out the best of God in me and His promise concerning me will never fall to the ground . Every tittle, every iota, every jot, will be fulfilled. Yes, some of it may not be palatable, yet His will be done and His kingdom will come. And in the final analysis all things will work together for my good, according to His purposes, because the scripture cannot be broken. (Rom.8:28)
As a result of what they did He completed His work on the cross which brought and birth salvation, deliverance, healing, restoration, new life new hope, glory be to God!
What pain are you going through today? Are you on your cross, dying like Jesus or are you resisting it?
We all have our cross not only to bear but to die on. We cannot escape it. Jesus told His disciples’ If any man will follow me, let him deny himself, take up His cross and follow me.’ He gives us an example to follow in this passage.
Let us think of the well-being of others even when we are on the cross. Let our cross bring out the best of God in us. Let us let our lives glorify God in our worst moments. Yes, it is easier said than done. But it is not something we can do by our strength. It is not by might nor by power but by the Spirit of the Living God. As we are yielded to the Holy Spirit at such times, we will discover unusual strength to go through our cross and giving glory to our maker and our God. Yes the glory of God can emanate through the gory and the grotesque!