Title: Gospel of John [19:26-30]. Christ's Crucifixion, part 5.
JOH 19:26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold, your son!"
JOH 19:27 Then He said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her into his own household.
Jesus and James and John are first cousins and Mary is the aunt of John. There is even an extra-biblical account of Clopas being the brother of Joseph, Mary's husband, which would make James the Less an in-law. Mary was likely being comforted by her sister Salome, her sister-in-law Mary wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene, and when John went to the Lord's mother they all went with him to the cross and upon arriving Jesus, when He saw her, resolved to care for her.
John is to care for Mary as he would his own mother. With one command He secured for her a faithful and spiritual adopted son, a comforter, and a home.
This is a model for all children. In the midst of His unbearable suffering He cares for His mother and gives John a wonderful compliment of faithfulness and privilege of taking care of His mother.
John didn't procrastinate. He immediately took care of her. He reveals here that it is not just physical care but protection of her soul to the extent possible.
Might not the relationship commanded by Jesus to John and His mother be the first of the coming relationships in the entire body of Christ.
She is to treat John as her son, as she would Jesus. John is to treat her as his mother. They are to serve one another and love one another as Christ commanded to love one another as He had loved them. As such Mary and John become a type of the coming church in which the royal family of God would love and serve one another as they did Christ.
Salome once asked Jesus to have her sons sit at His right and left hand to which He replied, "Only My Father can grant this. Can they drink the cup I am about to drink?" Now she witnesses what He meant and surely is silent.
What she now sees is a wakeup call to what really is greatness in the kingdom of God and as we study it we should all see the same. What is it to be great in the kingdom of God? I bet Salome, after this day, rethought that question deeply.
MAT 20:20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Him with her sons, bowing down, and making a request of Him.
MAT 20:21 And He said to her, "What do you wish?" She said to Him, "Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right and one on Your left."
MAT 20:22 But Jesus answered and said, "You do not know what you are asking for. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?" They said to Him, "We are able."
They say "we are able" and they have no idea and neither does their mother. The Lord confirms that they will drink it, but of course this doesn't mean that they will die for sin or be separated from the Father, but that they will lose their lives and greatly suffer for the cause of Christ. Their mother and they indeed do not know what they are asking. After His death and resurrection they will see, and to their credit, they will not quit on it, but after they understand their ignorant pride will become more quiet humility.
MAT 20:23 He said to them, "My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father."
MAT 20:24 And hearing this, the ten became indignant with the two brothers.
This bickering between them will also stop after they come to understand what our Lord did and what it cost Him. This is true for all believers.
During the three hours of darkness when our Lord drinks the final portion of the cup of the Father, the cup of all iniquity, no sound is mentioned in the scripture. It is a picture of silent and reverent humility.
MAT 20:25 But Jesus called them to Himself, and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.
MAT 20:26 "It is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant,
MAT 20:27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave;
MAT 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
Now at last all that concerned the earthward aspect of His Mission - so far as it had to be done on the Cross - was ended.
He had prayed for those who had nailed Him to it, in ignorance of what they did; He had given the comfort of assurance to the penitent criminal, and He had made the last provision of love for those close to Him, Mary and John, in relating them to each other in the bond of the coming body of Christ, the royal family of God.
So to speak, the relations of His Humanity - that which touched His Human Nature in any direction - had been fully met.
He had completed the work of His human relations and His relation to the earth and, so it seemed, the earth bade Him a sad farewell through darkness and earthquake.
It's almost as if the earth mourned its departing Lord, who, by His personal connection with it, had once more lifted it from the abasement of the Fall into the region of the Divine. This is all poetic of course, but I should think God to be poetic in this relationship as well.
The Lord of Glory, sinless and divine had graced the earth with His touch and now, hanging above it, was finished with it, at least as far as His first Advent, and we can imagine the earth, metaphorically, mourning Him, and now waits eagerly for His return.
For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.
It was midday and the sun was enshrouded in darkness and would remain so for three hours, from the sixth to the ninth hour, or noon to 3 pm. There is no use in trying to explain the source of the darkness other than the supernatural power of God. It could not have been a solar eclipse since it was a full moon at the time, the farthest away from a new moon, which is required for an eclipse.
MAT 27:45 Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour.
All the land or as Mark writes, "the whole land," can mean anything from the entire earth to the land surrounding Jerusalem, we cannot determine the extent of it.
Not one writer gives any facts about the reaction of the people to the darkness that enshrouded them in the middle of the day. How many people left Calvary or if anyone did is unclear, but when the darkness is lifted there are still people there and they again mock Him one more time. Whether they continued to mock during the three hours of darkness is unclear. In fact nothing is mentioned of anyone at all, not even our Lord who only speaks those infamous words at the end of it. In the scripture there is silence as our Lord is judged for the sin of the world and so speculation about facts and reactions during this time is speaking when we should be silent. This time is the absolute worst time in our Lord's eternal existence; beyond measure of anything we can remotely comprehend, and it was done for you.
The darkness was not only upon nature but upon Him. In body, soul, and spirit Jesus Christ would be God-forsaken and absolutely alone as He was judged for the sins of all mankind.
On top of all the physical and mental suffering that He has received up to this point, this suffering makes all of that seem light. Into this fathomless depth of His suffering forsakenness, spiritual death, and complete loneliness we dare not enter and indeed we cannot. As we stand at the threshold of the finite and the infinite we should only reverently say thank you blessed Lord.
About 12 hours prior the Lord said to the disciples:
"Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.
Unto Him God becomes silent for the first time. God has withdrawn from Him for the first time. He, whom He loved more than anyone or anything, left Him.
Maybe we can imagine the person we love most leaving us and forsaking us but it pales in comparison. We are sinners and there is always a reason why someone might leave us, for no matter how good we are we never become perfect and nor are they who forsake us. Christ enjoyed a perfect love and a perfect relationship with the Father from all eternity and for the first time, at noon, in the midst of darkness, God is silent to Him and away from Him as He is judged for the sins of the world. We are not allowed to delve any deeper than that.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time.
and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us — for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree" —
His sacrifice, His spiritual death is the vicarious (to take the place of another thing or person), expiatory (to pay the penalty of), and redemptive character of His death.
At the close of this period of three hours the Lord finally gives vent to the suffering of darkness and forsakenness by using His own word of God.
MAT 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, " Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? "that is," My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"
It is amazing that He was able to keep silent for practically all three hours of darkness and spiritual death, yet now, nearly at the end He cries out loudly. It could be that after three hours of silence from God, forsakenness and total loneliness that He finally did come to the point of truly asking why, and not as just saying it for our sakes as some believe. I don't believe that if He really did know why that He would ask why as a way of simply informing us that He was forsaken, but that is my own personal opinion.
My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?
Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.
MAT 27:47 And some of those who were standing there, when they heard it, began saying, "This man is calling for Elijah."
Elijah was regarded by the Jews as a deliverer in time of trouble. It is highly unlikely that it was the Jews who thought He was calling for Elijah. It may have been the soldiers who said this, knowing about Elijah, but not knowing as the Jews did PSA 22:1 and the meaning of the word Eli. No Jew would have mistaken Eli for Elijah. However, it may have been the Jews who clearly knew what He said but mocked Him in this as well, and attempting to influence the crowd so that they who were farther away would be told that Jesus was calling for Elijah and not in fact stating PSA 22:1.
But I am a worm [tola], and not a man,
A reproach of men, and despised by the people.
But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
Soon after His cry the forsakenness would pass and the Lord would again hear His Father and fellowship with Him, never to be left alone again.
It was probably just a few minutes from the cry of PSA 22:1 that He emerged on the other side, no longer forsaken and no longer alone and sin fully atoned for.
In this first moment of completeness His humanity shines through in that the first thought, other than complete relief, was that He was thirsty - His firth utterance from the cross.
JOH 19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I am thirsty."
Once it was accomplished He could now yield Himself to the physical wants of His body.
He's still an un-resurrected man and so still has physical needs that He will no longer have when He rises. No matter how spiritual anyone gets he is still a man with basic physical needs.
JOH 19:29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop, and brought it up to His mouth.
The scripture John mentions in verse 28 is:
They also gave me gall for my food,
And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
John uses the same Greek word for "sour wine" as the LXX uses in PSA 69:21 for "vinegar." This is not to be confused with the 'wine mingled with myrrh' which Jesus refused.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And my tongue cleaves to my jaws;
And Thou dost lay me in the dust of death.
How sweet that sour wine must have tasted. It was a blend of wine, vinegar, and water.
And immediately one of them ran, and taking a sponge, he filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink. But the rest of them said, "Let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him."
Might we believe that this soldier was a believer or may have become a believer that day and moved with compassion ran to get the Lord some of the drink of the soldiers. This would have taken courage as the rest who witnessed it mocked him and the Lord.
However, in Mark's account it could be that the soldier joined in with their mocking, and so he may not have been a believer, but someone moved with momentary compassion only to become callous again through consensus with others.
And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink, saying, "Let us see whether Elijah will come to take Him down."
Regardless, it's over now. All of the mocking, the beating, the crucifixion, all sin was fully paid for. They have no idea what the Lord has just done for them.
But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.
JOH 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!"
"It is finished" - tete,lestai[tetelestai; perfect passive indicative of teleo] = It is finished with the result that it remains finished forever.
And immediately after He states the last and seventh utterance:
And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, "Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit." And having said this, He breathed His last.
Into Thy hand I commit my spirit;
Thou hast ransomed me, O Lord, God of truth. \
/These words formed part of evening prayers of pious Jews and would have been so for Jesus, saying these words each night before sleeping and now they are His last words before His final sleep.\
JOH 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit.