Sunday, 12 April 2009

John 19v25-30: The glory of Christ’s commitment

Here perhaps, Christ’s excellence shines the brightest. In his greatest agony, when self-pity would be justified, what is his focus? Is it to save himself? Is it to numb his pain? Is it to elicit our sympathies? No, it is two things: It is to care for his earthly mother and it is to obey his heavenly Father. In other words, it is to be utterly self-LESS.

First, we consider his earthly mother.

Mary and three other women are at the foot of the cross, and near them, John: Verse 26 [READ v26-27]

Yes the verse hints at the fact that Jesus’ death establishes the church as the family of God. Yes it hints at how we are to care for one-another as brothers and sisters, parents and children in Christ. Yet it’s model for that, is the supremely selfless care of Christ. Never with others out of his mind.

Second, we therefore consider his heavenly Father.

Verse 28 is to intrigue us [READ v28-30]

Now Jesus didn’t need this drink. He was about to give up his spirit. No he asked for it as one final fulfilment of scripture. Looking down and seeing the wine vinegar, he recalled Psalm 69. There the enemies of God’s King “give him vinegar for his thirst.” And so Jesus asks for a drink, to point us to that Psalm, to remind us that his sufferings were predicted all those years ago.

He refuses to forget his mission. He refuses to miss one opportunity to complete the work his Father has given him. And so, like the Vikings who longed to die sword in hand, Jesus dies once again wielding the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.

“It is finished” – he has lived and taught, he has given sufficient proofs of who he is, he has fulfilled the scriptures, he has drunk the cup of suffering, and he has obeyed his Father to the end. Still utterly in control of all that is going on, he purposely says “it is finished,” he purposely bows his head, and he purposely gives up his spirit, his life, to his Father.