The Relationship Building Christ :: Woman, behold thy Son! … Behold thy mother!


Each of the seven sayings from the Cross gives us a glimpse into the nature of Jesus Christ. In the third saying, Jesus, looks at his earthly mother, Mary, standing at the foot of the Cross, and the other disciple whom he loved and tells them to look at one another, before telling Mary that the disciple is her son and telling the disciple that Mary is his mother. In doing so, we see Jesus Christ – the Relationship Builder.

While the nails had pierced Jesus’ hands and feet, as Jesus was crucified, the prophecy of Simeon to Mary that a sword would pierce her heart was being fulfilled (Luke 2:35).

And amidst this anguish, Jesus’ focus was on relationships – family relationships. Though he was the heavenly Son of God, the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16), he fulfilled his earthly duties as a son who honors his mother and makes provision for her care, for his time had come to leave the world that he came to and return to God his Father (John 16:28). He chose his most loved disciple and delegates a relationship responsibility. The time had come for new relationships to be established and ratified.

Points to ponder:
What is interesting to note is that, this Saying “Woman, behold thy son!” and to the disciple “Behold thy mother!” could have been said anytime other than when Jesus was hanging on the Cross. He could have made this relationship arrangement during one of the times that his disciples met him when he was with his mother or at the wedding at Cana where he performed his first miracle of turning water to wine. Yet Jesus waited for the Cross – for his time to come. This teaches us that it is only by the Cross of Christ that new relationships are forged and formed.

Because Jesus, the son of God was lifted up on the Cross, he lifts many of us as sons (and daughters) into glory (John 3:14-15; John 12:32-33; Hebrews 2:10). The cross makes it possible for a new relationship (a new creation) because Jesus, the relationship building Christ and creator of the world took our place on it (Hebrews 2:9).

When you believes in Jesus, his death and his resurrection, you are made a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and a new relationship with God as God’s children commences. Are your a child of God? Are you related to God?

And if we are related to God, let us not forget to do our earthly duties as Jesus did. The world is hurting with broken relationships. There is unrest within families, hatred amongst kin, violence, wars between countries, wickedness, and evil and the world is in a state of anguish so much so that creation itself is groaning (Romans 8:22). It is in this world that God wants us to be relationship builders like he was. We need to take up our Cross, follow Jesus and tell others to look at him (to behold him) and be reconciled with God first and to love other as themselves. Are we relationship builders as Jesus – the relationship builder is?

John 19:26-27 (KJV)
26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

Luke 2:34-35 (KJV)
34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

John 3:14-16 (KJV)
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 12:32-33 (KJV)
32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.

Hebrews 2:9-10 (KJV)
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

The Assuring Christ :: Today shalt thou be with me in paradise


Each of the seven sayings from the Cross gives us a glimpse into the nature of Jesus Christ. In the second saying, when Jesus, tells the malefactor (criminal) who had acknowledged and addressed Jesus as Lord and King (Luke 23:42), that he will be with Jesus in paradise that day, we see Jesus Christ – the Assurer of his presence in paradise.

The prophet Isaiah had prophesied of the assuring Christ centuries earlier, when he recorded that Jesus would be numbered with the transgressors (Isaiah 53:12). On the Cross, we see condemned like the other malefactors (Luke 23:39-40), this prophetic saying comes true.

Points to ponder:
Amidst this condemnation that Christ suffered, as a criminal, though he had committed no crime, Jesus speaks words of eternal life (John 6:68), words of assurance – a blessed assurance, that the one who is condemned in the eyes of man is not condemned in the eyes of God, because he who had recognized Jesus a good man, having done nothing wrong (Luke 23:41), realized and recognized that Jesus the good man was indeed God-man and that Jesus was Lord and King, who will come again in his kingdom (Luke 23:42). The criminal’s request was to be remembered for he said “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom”, but Christ Jesus responded in a manner of speaking, that there would be no need for remembrance, because that criminal was going to be with Christ that very day.

Notice how, Jesus did not condemn or remind him of the criminal’s sinful past, which by earthly standards deserved excruciating death. Instead, Jesus focused on the criminal’s saintly future – a future with Christ himself. This gives hope – hope to the vilest of sinners (of whom I am chief) and does not preclude anyone out of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. The criminal died that day, yet he lived for whoever believes in Jesus, though he shall die, yet shall he live (John 11:25-26).

Also note, how the criminal’s request talks about “Jesus’ kingdom” not the kingdom of man. Jesus taught his disciples to pray for God’s kingdom to come on earth. Yet many a times, we in our human fallibilities and carnal desires seek to establish our own kingdoms. Like the criminal, we must ask for God’s kingdom to come and not our own. His will, not our will be done.

And to all, who like the criminal, recognize Jesus, not solely as a good man, but as God-man, the only man in whom the fullness of God dwells (Colossians 1:19), as the Lord and as a King whose kingdom will come, Jesus is the assuring Christ with whom we shall all be, in paradise.

Is Jesus The Assuring Christ to you? In other words, have you believed in him and accepted him as Lord and King of your life?

Luke 23:39-43 (KJV)
39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Isaiah 53:12 (KJV)
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

John 11:25-26 (KJV)
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

The Interceding Christ :: Father, Forgive them for they know not


Each of the seven sayings from the Cross gives us a glimpse into the nature of Jesus Christ. In the first saying, when Jesus, despite his anguish, prays for the forgiveness of those who had transgressed against him, by requesting his Father to forgive them for they did not know what they did, we see Jesus Christ – the Interceder – between God and man.

The prophet Isaiah had prophesied of the interceding Christ centuries earlier, when he recorded that Jesus’ soul would be poured out unto death and that he would be numbered with the transgressors, bearing the sin of many, and making intercession for the transgressors (Isaiah 53:12). On the Cross, this prophetic saying comes true.

Points to ponder:
Not only is Jesus the interceding Christ on the Cross, but after the Cross, upon his death and victorious resurrection, he is still the interceding Christ in heaven, making intercession for man with God, as the One mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5).

And as followers of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:1), we must also be intercessors – standing the gap (Ezekiel 22:30) – as ambassadors of Jesus Christ, beseeching man to be reconciled with God. (2 Corinthians 5:20). Jesus Christ, the interceder gave us the model of intercession. Are you and I an intercessor for God?

Luke 23:34 (KJV)
34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Isaiah 53:12 (KJV)
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

1 Timothy 2:5 (KJV)
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Craving on the Cross :: I thirst


Jesus’ fifth saying from the Cross, which is “I thirst” has often been expanded as one which was the result of his physical needs for being quenched due to dehydration or metaphorically as one in which Jesus thirsted for the souls of those lost and those who had not yet placed their trust in him.

Points to ponder:
The dictionary defines the word “thirst” as a strong or eager desire or craving. How could the one who is the very source of living waters thirst? I would like to believe that Jesus strongly desired or craved for the restoration of mankind unto God, which was the mission he had come to accomplish and having known that all things he had come to accomplish was accomplished, in order to fulfill the scripture, he cried out, I thirst (John 19:28). In other words, Jesus strongly craved for your and me on the Cross.

In a world that is lonely and desolate, we can take solace in the fact, that Jesus craves and desires to be in a relationship with us. The question that begs to be answered to then is “Do you have a strong and eager desire to be in relationship with God?” “Do you crave for Jesus?”

John 19:28 (KJV)
28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst

It gets personal on the Cross :: Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?


Jesus’ fourth saying from the Cross, as he lived up to His Name, which was to save His people from their sins, was a question directed, not to any man but, to God. It is the only question in the seven sayings of Christ from the Cross and it was Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being translated, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Mark 15:33-34; Matthew 27:46)

In the past, from both the pulpit as well as in articles (posts), servants of God, including I, have exposited on the plausible reasons as to the reason for Jesus questioning God as to why he had been forsaken. While we may never fully comprehend the extent to Jesus’ cry to God, we can see that in this saying, Jesus used the first person personal pronoun, ‘my’ in his address of his Father as God – not once, but twice. The word ‘my’ implies possession. When Jesus addressed God as ‘My God, My God’, he was making a personal address.

Points to ponder:
It gets personal on the Cross. In like manner, today, God is seeking you and me to have a personal Father-child relationship and to all who receive Jesus and who believe in his name, he has given them the power to be called the children of God (John 1:12). If you are yet to accept Jesus as your Savior, Lord and King, come to the Cross and make it personal today. It got personal on the Cross, the day they crucified Jesus. Today, get personal with God so that you can address God as “My” God, “My” God.

Mark 15:34 (KJV)
34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Cross Verbs – Calling to Action :: 7th saying from the Cross


This is the 7th post of the series, Cross Verbs >> Calling to Action, which is a look at the 7 sayings of Jesus Christ from the Cross, with an “action” perspective, for faith without action is dead (James 2:17). What is of note is that each saying has a verb in it, implying an action of Jesus Christ, the Lord, and what’s more, is that his action calls for our action.

Saying Seven: “Father, into thy hands, I commend my spirit.
The Cross verb today is “commend”.

To “commend” is to entrust or to give in charge of and here we see that Jesus commended his spirit to God willingly, trusting God to be in charge of his spirit, after the life he had lived on earth in human form, would ebb away, so that God would resurrect him from his death.

Points to ponder:
The Cross verb “commend” calls us to action – to entrust God with the spirit, the Holy Spirit that God has given to all who believe, so that the Spirit is always victorious over the flesh. We need to commit the spiritual things to God first so that the physical things can be taken care of, for we are commanded to seek God’s kingdom first (Matthew 6:33). We are called to “commend” as Jesus commended, trusting God to keep us alive, even if life on earth as we know it now, ebbs away. Are you and I a commender?

Prayer: God, let me always remember and recognize that the spiritual things matter more than the physical and I commend my spirit that you have earnestly deposited in me, for I have believed in your Son, Jesus Christ. Lord Jesus, I give you charge over all aspects of my life, both spiritual and physical … you take and be in control. Father, into thy hands, I commend my spirit.  

Luke 23:46 (KJV)
46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Cross Verbs – Calling to Action :: 6th saying from the Cross


This is the 6th post of the series, Cross Verbs >> Calling to Action, which is a look at the 7 sayings of Jesus Christ from the Cross, with an “action” perspective, for faith without action is dead (James 2:17). What is of note is that each saying has a verb in it, implying an action of Jesus Christ, the Lord, and what’s more, is that his action calls for our action.

Saying Six: “It is finished.
The Cross verb today is “finish”.

Jesus’ word, “Tetelastai” which is to mean, “It is finished”, affirmed that the work that God has sent him to do, which was to reconcile mankind with God, was complete. There was nothing else left to be done. He finished the work so that we do not have to.

Points to ponder:
The Cross verb “finish” calls us to action – to first fix our eyes if Jesus and to stay on the course of our faith, keeping it and finishing the race, setting aside any weight that encumbers and pull us down and any sin that besets us.  Jesus finished the act of reconciling God with man and is the author and finisher of our faith. We can finish the work that God has given us to do which is to share the gospel of Christ, who saves all who believe in him, by grace, through faith in him, because Christ Jesus is a finisher. We are called to “finish” for it is only the finisher (and not the quitter) that receives the praise and the victor’s crown. Are you and I a finisher?

Prayer: Lord, let me not be a quitter, but let me be like you – being able to finally proclaim, “I have fought a good fight (as you did bearing our Cross), I have finished the course (as you boldly proclaimed – It is finished) and I have kept the faith (as you have demonstrated, how great your faithfulness is, in accepting us, an adulterous people).”  Lord Jesus, I thank you, that you who began the good work in me, would complete it, and I pray that you be with me (as you have promised) and help me be a finisher. 

John 19:30 (KJV)
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.