Behold the Son

It was not a silent night, but a chaotic morning. The shouts that echoed in her head were not those of angels declaring, “Glory to God on high”, instead they were the voices of an angry mob shouting, “Crucify Him!” This One she had been told would be God’s set apart Savior, now appeared as little more than a sin-incited sacrifice. But still she drew as near as she could. Not to that innocent Babe she had wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger thirty-three years ago, but now to a beaten Man, stripped of His garments, who had been nailed to a cross.

. . . but standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, he said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”

(John 19:25-26 ESV)

Woman, behold, your son!

There had been a lot of beholdin’ going on that day. The first time Pilate brought the flogged, thorn-crowned, purple-robe-arrayed Jesus before the crowd to declare Him innocent, he said to them, “Behold the man!” (Jn. 19:5). Though his soldiers had mocked Him as a king, to this Roman authority He was but a man. A beaten, powerless, derided man.

Then, though it was becoming clear to Pilate that Jesus was not a just any man, but because he could not persuade the Jews otherwise, he again presented Jesus to them. But this time he said, “Behold your King!” To which they responded, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him! . . . We have no king but Caesar!” (19:14-15)

And but a short time later, Jesus, the crucified Christ, would see His mother standing by the cross and say to her, “Woman, behold, your son!”

The same son born to her while she was yet a virgin. The same son she was told to name Jesus, “for He will save His people from their sins” (Mt. 1:21). The son prophesied long ago to be called Immanuel, which means God with us (Mt. 1:23). The son worshiped by angels and testified to by shepherds — all of which “Mary treasured up . . . pondering them in her heart” (Lk. 2:8-20). The same son we are drawn to through our nativity remembrances.

But as I read this morning of this woman who had once drawn near the manger now standing by the cross, I wonder, “What of the treasures she once pondered in heart? What of the hope she once had?”

For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over His kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

(Isaiah 9:6-7 ESV)

Woman, behold, the Son!

Our gracious Savior! Our glorious King!

O come let us adore Him!

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