Comfort and an End to Loneliness
John 19:26-27 – “When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’ Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.”
Grief is a terrible emotion. Loneliness is also a terrible emotion, and unfortunately many times those two emotions go together. When we experience the loss of someone that we care about we grief, and then many times we feel lonely as well. We want them to be around so that we can share life with them, and when they are not loneliness can quickly set in.
Grief by itself is a terrible thing. Loneliness by itself is a terrible thing, put them both together and it can seem almost unbearable. And yet that is what Jesus’ mother and closest disciple were feeling as Jesus hung on the cross. They were grieving because the inevitable lay before them. They are watching Jesus, the one that they love, die and they know it. They are grieving, and they are dealing with the reality of loss and loneliness. They know that soon He is going to be gone. And they are grieving and lonely.
Grieving because they are losing Jesus. Jesus however isn’t grieving. He is suffering, He is in agony, He is undergoing stress that no one can even imagine. Most of the time when people are stressed they tend to turn inward and become focused only on themselves, but not Jesus. Look at Him, where is His focus, where is His concern? It is where it always is, it is on other people. Jesus isn’t concerned for Himself at all.
We see Him grieving over people being lost. We see him taking time to love the outcast of the thief on the cross, and saying to him, “today you will be with me in paradise.” We see Him looking at the ones who were crucifying Him and saying to them, “Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing.” And we see Him concerned about His mother and about His disciple.
The focus is always on other people. He takes time even in His torment and agony to care about them and to love them. To make sure that they find comfort in their grief, and companionship in their loneliness. Jesus was driven by love. It was one of the driving factors of His life.
Why did He go to the cross? To show us love. Hebrews 12:2 says “He endured the shame of the cross for the joy that was set before Him.” What was the joy that the writer of Hebrews was speaking about? Thy joy of providing salvation for you and for me. The joy of bringing His followers into glory. Joy caused by the love that He has for us. Jesus was driven by love, and in that love He found a perfect joy.
What an example for us. We are called to “have the same mind that Jesus had”, and we are called to love God first and foremost and to love our neighbor as ourselves. In other words we are called to live like Jesus did, which means that we are called to be people of love.
No matter the circumstance or the situation we are to love the people that we come in contact with. We are to love them and be concerned about them. That’s why the Bible tells us “to put the needs of others above our own.” We are to do that because that is exactly what Jesus did. Caring enough to provide comfort and peace even in His darkest hour.
We are to be people of love, and we love because He first loved us. The only way that we can truly love other people is through the love of Jesus Christ in our lives. We love because He loved us first. We are enabled to love because He made the ultimate sacrifice of love and went to the cross for us. He went to the cross to redeem us, to deliver us, to set us free, and to give us forgiveness. He went to the cross so that we might have peace and so that we might have comfort in our distress. He went to the cross so that most importantly we could be reconciled in our relationship with Almighty God.
Going to the cross gave Jesus joy. He still despised its shame. He still dreaded the pain and the agony and the torture but He went with joy. Why? Because in going He redeemed you and me. Because in going He showed the love of God to the world.