John: Cross

John 19:17–42

It is finished.

This is a scene of public execution. This is a scene of brutal violence. This is a scene of the mighty and powerful Empire of Rome flexing its muscles to crush dissent.

This is a scene of the mighty and powerful Empire of Sin and Death flexing its muscles to crush dissent.

Remember how the story opens. In the beginning. The Word. Light in darkness. Echoes of the first Creation. God speaks. New life. The Word made flesh.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

We the readers have hints of the whole story, but we don’t yet grasp it. The Jewish leaders think they’ve rid themselves of a poisonous heretic. Pilate doesn’t really know what he’s done, but he’s narrowly escaped a riot, which would have cost him his job, his reputation, and possibly his life. The soldiers are just doing their job, executing another scumbag.

John particularly names four women at the scene, one being Jesus’ mom. What must be going through their minds? Is the hope of Israel extinguished?

The multitudes have vaporized. The lame that were healed don’t walk here. The blind that now see don’t look at this. The disciples have scattered in cowardice. But these four women stay. They watch. They mourn. They will, in all likelihood, carry the images, sounds, smells of this day for the rest of their lives. For years to come in the formative years of the church, these are the ones who will be asked in meetings, over meals, around cooking fires, “What happened? What did you see? What was it like?”

We do well to sit in silent awe at the feet of this scene, at the feet of Jesus, at the feet of the Word made flesh.

What about you? What do you see?


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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