Nehemiah's Call

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Eyes to See and Ears to Hear

Eyes to See and Ears to Hear

April 6, 2007

Good Friday Service at Bethel AME
Harrisonburg, Virginia

Which Crowd will you stand with?

John 19:23-28

As I reflected on this passage I was drawn to the crowds.

What was it about these scenes that I am to point out?

Crowd is a strange word indeed. Yet descriptive of our human nature, our yearning to be part of something else.

There were three crowds mentioned. One of soldiers, one in the distance and one that drew closer to the cross.

Earlier in the text John points out a group of soldiers who were casting lots for the
garments of Jesus.

They have missed the apparent. They had settled for the scraps. They were following orders from the wrong crowd.

Now there stood….

A different crowd has emerged from the distance. A crowd that did not miss the apparent. A crowd that did not settle for scraps.

Now there stood by the cross….

John mentions a cross. Not an ordinary cross because the Romans put to death thousands in this manner, but the cross of Jesus.

This was His cross. The one made for Him.

Oswald Chambers says, “The Cross was not something that happened to Jesus”

For He came to be about His Father’s business. For this was the purpose He came into the world. He lived so He could die.

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of
Clopas and Mary Magdalene.

John mentions these women. Mary Magdalene was the one who Jesus healed of demonic possession. Jesus healed many of these things. They knew they were healed; and were grateful.

It was this gratefulness and attitude that transformed Mary Magdalene. Now she stood with this small crowd….

When Jesus saw this group at His feet He looked upon His mother. John the disciple was there and Jesus prepares them for the next transition.

Woman, behold your son. Behold your mother.

John is the only man mentioned in this group. Why is that?

Why does John point this tender scene out to us?

To show us that Jesus was in complete control of the situation and had an
awareness for others.

  • You see, the cross required separation
  • The cross required transition
  • The cross came at a high price
  • The cross will bring bewilderment to those close to you

Which Crowd will you stand with?

  • The crowd that never noticed back in Jerusalem
  • The soldiers gambling for scraps
  • The crowd in the distance
  • Or the crowd that drew up close to Jesus

After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said “I thirst.”

Written by

Lawrence R. Yoder - Director
Harrisonburg, VA

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