Did you honor your mother today in a special way? Do you plan still to do so perhaps tomorrow or maybe with special plans next weekend? Today is Mother’s Day. If we only think about the worth of mom in the home and the work of mom for the family, then who will not agree, every day it is good to be thankful for mom, and to express our appreciation in a special way. Today as always Mother’s Day falls on Sunday and many of us attended church. Today in our service, we recalled the scene at the cross and what happened in connection with Jesus and His mother, Mary.
We see Jesus in His anguish, hurt, pain He is actually dying yet He also honored His mother in a very special way. Jesus’ care for Mary is something so amazing, so balanced, so comforting, and so directing. After a night of suffering betrayal and rejection, injustice brutal physical torture, spiritual agony, and sorrow of heart unimaginable, here He is we see Jesus nailed to a wooden cross on Calvary’s hill hanging between two thieves crucified with Him, one on His right and one on His left. Jesus already spoke a word of mercy to those who crucified Him, and He spoke kindly to the one crucified with Him who asked for His compassion.
Now He speaks to His mother, Mary, who was standing there by His cross. John writes that Mary with other women and that disciple whom Jesus loved, were standing near the cross. Mary, Jesus’ mother, standing nearby Jesus, as He hung crucified on the cruel cross. Can you imagine what all went through that mother heart of Mary for Jesus, her first born son. Mary was standing by observing it all with, no doubt, a heart-piercing and deep sorrow in regards to her firstborn son. What is so moving to think about here even more though is how Jesus, seeing what all was happening, then also focused His attention on His mother He was stripped naked, and His clothes sold.” But now think of how at this very moment, Jesus turned His thoughts toward His mother, Mary.
At a time when Jesus’ friends had forsaken Him, His nation rejected Him. His enemies cried out for His blood. However, His mother, Mary, stood there at the foot of the cross. The crowds mocked Him. The priest jeered at Him. The soldiers were calloused and indifferent towards Him. Nevertheless, His mother stood with Him. Jesus was crucified and bleeding, suffering so, and Mary, His mother, was there, watching it all. She did not faint. She did not run away. No, she was there, bound to Jesus by the golden chains of love. Who can fathom or analyze the heart of a mother, as God created it and intended it?
When God would describe something of His tender love for all who trust Him, He says in Isaiah 66:13: “As one, whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” I am sure, there are many great plaques in honor of mothers in the home, there is one that reads: “Mother is another word for LOVE”. Another says, “A mother is someone who can take the place of many others, but whose place no one else can take.” Surely, with John telling us about Mary, the mother of Jesus, standing by the cross, he meant for us to see the portrait of a brokenhearted yet so loyal a mother. We should all indeed be thankful for our mom, Mothers, and grandmothers, understanding how special they truly are.
As Jesus Himself was bearing the sin of His people and suffering agony of body and soul in an immeasurable intense way, that even then He still thought more of others, including also especially His mother. While busy with His salvation work, He did not forget about home. Jesus now thinks of his mother in her needs. How kind that Jesus now arranges also for the care and keeping of His mother, Mary. As Mary stood there by the cross and what does Jesus do now in amazing grace and love and care? He commends Mary, His mother, to the protection of His dear and most loving disciple of all, John, in these brief and touching words, saying to Mary from the cross: “Woman, behold thy son.” Then saying to His disciple, John: “Behold, thy mother.” – John 19:26-27
When we think of Mother’s Day today, we should not only think of it in terms of young children giving a card and some token of special love and honor for mom, but also as older ones with our parents as they get older. This is the fifth commandment of God, “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” Exodus 20:12 Jesus’ third word from the cross shows His perfect obedience also to the fifth commandment. Jesus was subject to His sinful parents while He lived in Nazareth, and during His ministry, even to the death on the cross; He showed faithfulness and tender care for His mother, Mary.
This Lord’s Day being Mother’s Day, I do not want to focus you on your mother, but on the Savior. Looking to Christ Jesus and His way with His mother Mary, and abiding in Him and drawing from Him, we learn the way also truly to honor our parents, especially our Mother. We learn to know and enjoy even not just temporary earthly relationships with them, but enduring and heavenly relationships one with another, now and forever. It comes down to this, anyway. The way really to promote Mother’s Day is to remember the Lord’s Day, and God’s blessed holy gospel word for all of life in all our relationships, also now particularly Jesus’ third word from the cross. Will you never forget this word, and have it guide you too in all of life as mother, father, son, daughter, grandchild and grandparent.