“And many women who had come from Galilee with Jesus to care for him were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James and Joseph), and the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee.” ―Matthew 27: 55-56.
Who was there when Jesus was crucified? There were soldiers, the chief priests, scribes, and elders, two robbers crucified, one on Jesus’ right and one on His left, some bystanders, and a centurion. Those closest to Jesus in attendance were His mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, Mary, (the mother of James and Joseph), and John.
We don’t know for sure where the other disciples were. They could have been melting into the crowd at a safe distance. They could have been in hiding. Peter denied knowing Jesus three times when questioned the night before. Yes, they behaved cowardly but haven’t we at times. Haven’t we tried to blend in rather than stand out for God. The short answer is we have. Fortunately, we can return to the foot of the cross.
The message of the cross is that we don’t have to possess any special qualifications. There are no hoops to jump through. You are invited whether you are rich or poor, young or old, no matter your race, gender, or the sin in your heart. Jesus sacrificed His life for all who would come to Him. Jesus destroyed all barriers so everyone can come to the foot of the cross. 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”
The foot of the cross is an indescribable place to stand. It is the most significant exhibition of love ever seen. When we come to the cross we find refuge, hope, safety, and joy. The power of the cross allows us to join with Paul and say: “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). We experience a new life here on earth that does not end in spiritual death, but eternal life. That is the power of the cross.
Is there anything we can offer Jesus as we stand at the cross? We can offer Him our love and devotion. We can bring praise and worship. We can come to the cross with a renewed appreciation for His incredible love and a renewed commitment to sharing His love and His story with the people we interact with.
There is no better place to be than in the hands of God at the foot of the cross.
- The foot of the cross is level – it is for all nations, all people. What does that mean to us in our daily lives?
- What tends to distract and pull you away from Jesus? What is the result when you are distracted?