Open Your Bible
Psalm 22:18, John 19:23-27
BY Debbie Eaton
Text: Psalm 22:18, John 19:23-27
I rarely find myself at the movies these days, but I was invited by some friends to go and see the new, updated Cinderella movie and loved it. It was fun to see all the little girls at the theater, dressed up in their beautiful blue gowns, dreaming of what it would be like to live the fairy tale. The scenery in the movie was beautiful, the costumes were stunning, and the story vividly illustrated the power of kindness, love, courage, and forgiveness.
Most of us don’t live a fairy tale of ball gowns and glass slippers, but the broader storyline is one we can relate to. Our real life exposes the juxtaposition of cruelty and kindness, harshness and compassion, hate and love, good and evil.
I can’t image the depth of emotion Jesus’ mother must have experienced, seeing her son— the Son of God—hanging in the balance of life and death. She watched as the four Roman soldiers mocked Jesus and divided up His outer garments, the seamless tunic she may have made with her own hands being raffled off. Death is hard enough to look upon, but to witness such horrible torture, mockery, betrayal, and hate is difficult to stomach or even imagine. Yet, in those moments of extreme suffering, Jesus models once again the power of love, forgiveness, and grace.
The soldiers concerned themselves with things that don’t last—His garments—missing the immense display of love happening right in front of them. While they cast lots for His belongings, Jesus spoke to His dear mother for the last time. He saw her grief, and before His last breath, He transferred her care to His beloved disciple and friend, John. Jesus’ love for His mother stood in contrast to the mockery of those who hated Him—a reminder that we are known, seen and loved by God, even in the most painful and humiliating of circumstances.
We tend to value material things in this life, things that threaten to bring out the worst in us. Like those Roman soldiers, we trust what is temporal, covering ourselves with false garments—pride, fear, even hatred—that harden and betray our hearts. These worldly concerns distract us from looking up to see the Father’s great display of love for us.
Sisters, let us cast away our false garments and put on His garments of grace, compassion, and love available to us through Christ’s work on the Cross. Only in Him will we find eternal peace, hope and joy.