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The 3rd Saying of Christ Amid the Darkness

"He said to His mother, 'Woman, behold your son!' Then He said to the disciple, 'Behold your mother!'" (John 19:26-27).

His mother, Mary, was broken-hearted as she looked up at Jesus. John the apostle was also near. We don’t hear of Joseph, Mary’s husband, being around during Jesus’ ministry, so logic tells us that he had died at some point. By the time of Christ's crucifixion, she was probably in her late 40s or early 50s, and as far as we know, had no visible means of support. The Scriptures speak of honoring one’s parents (Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16), so Jesus, being the firstborn of the family, did not pass on responsibility to His half-brothers. He asked John, the disciple whom He loved, to take care of Mary. Amid His pain, Christ was still caring for those around Him. What an example He is to us. He does not call her mother, but woman, lest people attribute divinity to her, as some do. Mary was a sinful person in need of a Savior just as much as any of us. She had already acknowledged her need for a Savior for her sin (Luke 1:47).

At midday, the sixth hour by Jewish reckoning, darkness covered the whole land. The laughter, comedy, and scorn by the religious elite were over at this point, for God Himself showed up. Yes, the Lord, who "dwells in unapproachable light" (1 Timothy 6:16), also visits in thick darkness. “He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him-- the dark rain clouds of the sky” (Psalm 18:11). In another place, Scripture says of God, “Clouds and thick darknesssurround Him; Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne” (Psalm 97:2). When God showed up at Mount Sinai, Moses wrote of Him, “You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the very heart of the heavens: darkness, cloud, and thick gloom" (Deuteronomy 4:11). The very air was pungent with the presence of the Holy One, who drew near bringing judgment for sin on His Son instead of us. It was during that time of darkness, this writer believes, that every sin and act of rebellion on the earth, past, present and future, were laid on Christ:

He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed (1 Peter 2:24).

During the darkness after midday, Jesus spoke again: "'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' - which means, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"' (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). This statement is of such importance that to keep these meditations short, we have to wait until tomorrow to talk about it. Let me leave you with a question to ponder: Amid the terrible darkness of that day, why would Christ feel forsaken of God?

Keith Thomas

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Taken from the series on the Gospel of Luke. Click study 63: The Crucifixion of Christ


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