John 19:26-27 "Woman, behold your son!...behold your mother!
By nature all men, especially in time of pain, sorrow, and injustice are completely self absorbed. To see the needs of another and focus our attention on another person does not come by nature and all the more so is that the case in a time of suffering.
The disciple to whom Jesus spake these words from the cross later wrote in I John 4:12 "if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us"
In the suffering of our Savior we see this perfect love. His love is completely centered on the Father as will be seen in his other cries from the cross. Here His love for the father is demonstrated in his love for others.
It is impossible to fully imagine the depth of the suffering as Christ was experiencing not only extreme physical pain, not only the rejection of men, but the anger of the Father at sin being poured out upon Him.
Yet the first words of Christ from the cross that John records for us are these words demonstrating and demanding selfless love for the brethren.
As we think on Mary for a moment...surely there can be no human hurt of the heart as deep and crushing as the loss of a child. Not only was Mary watching her son be cruelly tortured, unjustly treated, and put to death; but this Son was perfect. He had never disobeyed her, he had never dishonored her, he had never failed to perfectly love her. Surely her mind traveled back to Gabriel's words only a short time ago..."And behold,, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."
She had kept these things in her heart...John nor the other gospel writers record his mother as one of the visitors at his tomb. Perhaps she was one of those about whom Jesus spoke when he said to Thomas "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
Not long after Gabriel's announcement, Mary had said to Elizabeth: "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is might has done great things for me, and holy is his name."
No unbelieving mother could have stood at the foot of such a cruel cross with peace. The crushing pain in Mary's heart was surely assuaged by the same faith that Abraham had obediently demonstrated as he raised a knife to slay his only son - believing that God was able to raise him from the dead.
Jesus would soon be ascending to heaven as Mary's Savior and no longer as her son. John and Mary like you and I now would have a new family during our short pilgrimage - the family of God - those bought by the precious blood of Christ. And together we walk as strangers believing "the disciple" John as he reminds us: "Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is."