Where Were You…The Apostle John’s Reflections….

ImageWe all have times when we can recall “where we were” when something of significance happened. As we read John 19, the Apostle John shares with us his recollection of the day when holiness was triumphant over evil. John shares with us “where he was” on that fateful day when the words of Simeon must have come flooding back to the heart of Mary: Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, [Luke 2]

As we read John 19 and see the ugliness of sin in all of its horror we recall these words of Jesus: “hated by everyone because of my name….yet a time is coming when the one who kills you will think he is offering service to God.” The religious leaders fulfilled those words when they cried: “crucify him, crucify him.” But, what man plans for evil God turns to good. Jesus endured that we might see God’s plan and purpose for the redemption of man. Act 2:23 this man, who was handed over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you executed by nailing him to a cross at the hands of Gentiles…thus fulfilling John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”…so that the truth of Acts 4:12 might be ours to claim: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

In the midst of this horror, John focuses our attention on Christ, and along with the other gospel writers, shares the last words heard from the lips of our Savior:

Father, Forgive them, they know not what they do…

[to the thief] Today you shall be with me in paradise…

[to Mary] Woman, behold your son and [to John] behold your mother…

My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?…

I thirst…

It is finished…

Father, into your hands I commit my spirit…

From there, John turns our attention to the small band of persistent faithful followers as they and he become witnesses to this scene. It was this tenacity, this indefatigable belief in Jesus as THE CHRIST that carried them to this point in time. John 19:25 “Now standing beside Jesus’ cross were his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene…and the disciple whom he loved standing there,” This scene would be forever etched in John’s memory as the turning point of his faith, the turning point of seeing God’s plan fulfilled…but as of yet he did not understand the full scope.

And then John turns our attention to the two secret disciples who stepped out of the darkness into the light. They had not been strong enough to stand in life but Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus became the ministering servants to the body of our Lord in his death. What they paid in the earthly price for their stand against the Sanhedrin is not known but it was a small price for what they gained in eternal rewards. “Whoever, then, acknowledges me before people, I will acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever denies me before people, I will deny him also before my Father in heaven.” [Matt 10]                         

 Where were you when you realized the price paid for your sin?

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