Start to Finish

Re:Verse passage – John 19:17-27 (day four)

Often when I read this passage, I put myself in Jesus’ mind, looking from his view, down at the crowd that had gathered as he was raised up on the cross. Today, though, I find myself in the crowd, seeing these events play out from Mary’s vantage point. She saw it all happen, huddled there with her faithful friends as her firstborn son was put to death. And in his last moments, Jesus ensures that Mary will be taken care of. Jesus accomplished everything he set out to do. He didn’t die with anything left undone, there were no loose ends left to tie. Taking care of his mother was one of his final acts.

When Mary heard Jesus call out from the cross, “Woman, behold your son!” and realized that he had given her into John’s care, I wonder if her mind returned to Bethlehem, where she gazed down at her son lying in the manger. As the angels sang and the shepherds came to behold the child king, Luke 2:19 tells us that “Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.” While she couldn’t have known then how things would play out, I wonder if these quiet ponderings from long ago strengthened her faith in this moment of grief. Mary had a unique vantage point to see Christ’s life lived out with heavenly purpose. From start to finish, she saw the Lord’s faithfulness in and through her son. What a promise we have from Jesus – that he will be faithful from start to finish.

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