Reading Scripture helps us know God's Love. Every Bible verse is written for you. Jesus Christ is all mankind's Light. John 1!

Friday, August 31, 2012

John 19:25-27 ~ standing by the cross of Jesus

Joseph of Arimathea, granted permission to take down the body of Christ. John the Apostle, Nicodemus and two servants lend a hand. Christ's feet are resting on Mary Magdalene’s shoulders. The woman in blue is Mary, Mother of Christ.

Descent from the Cross painted by Peter Paul Rubens

John 19:25-27

English Standard Version, David Cochran Audio Bible 25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. Jesus dying on the Cross, comforts His mother. Why would Jesus give His mother a new son? Taking her out of her family Mark 3 tells us of?
The Compassionate Friends are a group who support parents who have lost a child. They have guidelines for parents, and friends of parents, who have lost an adult child. (In the article below, let's look at this not only as reasons why Jesus gave Mary a new son, but also how to comfort people in our lives who have this loss.) Mark 3:31-35And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32 And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” 33 And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.” Just as Jesus' sacrifice enabled men from all nations to be grafted into the family of God - Jesus created a new family for Mary - those doing the will of God. Jesus' brothers are recorded in the New Testament praying, teaching and traveling to tell people the Good News of Jesus Christ - God's Son. Acts 1:13-14 13 And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. 1 Corinthians 9:5 Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Galatians 1:18-19 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord's brother. Father God, You tell us both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus said men and women doing Your will are Your Family. You tell us in truth, whatever we do for one of the least of these brothers of Yours, we've done for You. We wait expectantly for You. "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me." You will always keep Your promises to us. Help us to see clearly what You would have us to do each day. There will be a day we behold Your face, in Great Joy. To You be the Honor and Glory, in Your Great Mercy of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. <>< (As a Scripture parallel - this is not completely perfect to the siblings of Jesus - yet it is a profound analogy to us being grafted into God's Family as John was. It may be a fairly good analogy to the beginnings of the Spiritual awakening of Jesus' sibling as missionaries for Him. James, brother of Jesus, is recorded in the Scriptures specifically as being one of the 500 to see Jesus resurrected.)

Romans 11

English Standard Version, David Cochran Audio Bible
1 I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” 4 But what is God's reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

7 What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, 8 as it is written,
“God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.”
9 And David says,
“Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them; 10 let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see, and bend their backs forever.”
11 So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. 12 Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!
13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? 16 If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. 23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.
25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,
“The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; 27 “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”
28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. 32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.
33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”

35 “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Death of an Adult Child - article written by Compassionate Friends - Support Group for Bereaved Parents 
The death of any child, regardless of cause or age, is overwhelming to parents, who can never be fully prepared for their child to die before them. Parental grief is intense, long-lasting, and complex.
The grief and the healing process contain similar elements for all bereaved parents, but for those whose adult child has died, there are additional factors that may affect their grief.
Discounted Grief
If an adult child dies as a result of an accident or illness, parents are frequently told by friends or family that they should be grateful their child lived as long as he or she did.
Mary, at first, would have been told by the people surrounding her, her Child was a criminal and she was better off. I am sure this would be repeated in some places. John, having lived as a disciple of Jesus, would not allow this doubt to be expressed to her without his care enfolding her. He could address her sorrow of her loss as well as seeing the great evil of seeing God crucified. John's Scripture writings reveal in many places how permanently shaken he was to witness such evil and could address this in compassion with Mary. (The portions written in blue are additions to the Compassionate Friends article - written by me - for Scripture for Today Blogspot.)
Many parents have observed that their relationship with their adult child had evolved into one of friendship. Not only do they feel they have lost their child—they have lost a friend, often their best friend, as well.
Parents who have loved, reared, and encouraged their child’s development into maturity and a full life of their own, feel a sense of pride and accomplishment as the adult child completes his or her education, establishes a career, and develops adult relationships.
John knew Jesus as Lord - helping Mary see Jesus fulfilled God's Great Purpose.
By the time a child has reached adulthood, parents have made an immense emotional and financial investment in this person. When that life has not run its anticipated span, there is often a sense of abandonment combined with total futility. Parents often question their own purpose in life, since everything they invested in their child now seems for naught.
Discounted grief also occurs when the adult child dies from a cause that makes others uncomfortable or judgmental.
John would never judge Mary because they shared standing at the Cross of Jesus together. It would be difficult for us to fully grasp the magnitude of that moment having been His mother and his most loyal friend.
Most bereaved parents experience guilt for having outlived their child. When adult children die as the result of suicide, drug use, driving drunk, AIDS, or other causes that carry a social stigma, many parents often experience an even more intense sense of guilt for not having realized that their child was having serious difficulties. Parents often wonder what they could have done differently to prevent the situations that may have caused their child’s death.
John would help Mary past her guilt. Mark 3:20-35. Perhaps Mary's guilt was to have been somewhat spiritually blind to Jesus' life significance during His life - Mary was fully human, even though chosen as the Mother of God.
Judgmental statements from others indicating that the child died as the result of his or her own actions only add to the intense pain and sense of isolation and defeat felt by the parents. When suicide is involved, others may ask why no one saw it coming, causing the parents to feel they should have been able to see something often hidden deep within their child that not even experts in the field can always foresee.
John would remember Mary tried to intervene with Jesus' brothers and sisters - but rejoice with Mary for Jesus willingly to open His arms on the Cross to take the sins of the world away.
Many times adult children live in a different area from the parents and will have become established with their own homes, families, and careers. Thus, the parents have already dealt with the separation and adjusted to the changed routine or the empty nest syndrome. However, those who have not fully accepted the child leaving home, or the circumstances of their leaving, may find their grief greatly intensified. Some parents were supporting their adult child due to a physical or mental illness, or when suffering difficulties with drugs or alcohol. This son or daughter may have become the focus of their lives, and the death leaves a huge void in the daily routine, which adds to their grief and feeling of loss.
John would take Mary out her environment and give her new focus on the impact of Jesus' Heavenly eternal life and the shape of the world quickly coming to see the need for her Son's salvation.
Other Issues Often Faced by Parents When an Adult Child Dies
  • *If the adult child was married or had a family, the focus will usually be on the grief of the child’s immediate family and not the parents.
  • *If the child was unmarried, there will be property, finances, estate, wills, and other legal issues with which the parents must contend.
  • Grandchildren need comforting as the surviving spouse is usually exhausted physically and emotionally and may be unable to comfort the children, who are also grieving.
  • Mary, after enduring the terrible shock of Jesus' violent death, the Universal and Eternal change, needed to be cared for and not the grief counselor of her family. John would stand in that stead. Particularly in that era that widow's were not considered to be a high standing part of society. John would physically protect Mary in a new place away from immediate government, Temple danger.
  • *Depending on the marital status of the child, his or her parents may have the job of notifying an employer, friends from high school, college, church, the neighborhood, and others who have come to know the child.
  • *Parents eventually may have to handle the emotions that will arise when the spouse dates or remarries.
  • *Parents, especially those who are elderly or whose only child has died, may experience fears and concerns regarding who will take care of them in later years or in the case of failing health.
  • *If the parent has been financially or emotionally dependent upon the adult child, decisions must be made regarding where to turn for support.
Facing the Future
What Jesus said from the Cross, was a personal way forward for Mary and for his disciple, whom He loved. He provided a way for healing for them both and for his siblings. The Scriptures are quite clear Jesus had siblings. This unique gift from Jesus' cross is also a reminder to us who love Him, we are His Family.
Parents may feel they have nothing to live for and thus think about a release from the intense pain. Many parents do feel this way, but be assured that a sense of purpose and meaning does return. The pain does lessen. One of the most demanding challenges you will face is to refocus your life. The loss of purpose and the thought of living the rest of your life without your child can be frightening.
Reexamining priorities and even questioning belief structures is not abnormal. If you are working outside the home, concentrate on arranging additional time off from work and plan ahead how you will handle special days such as anniversary dates and holidays. Often the day is easier than the dread that usually leads up to it.
Mary and John both would have different priorities to know a new life together. It would be difficult to explain other than say, in dramatic times at a hospital, sometimes the strength of a outside friend helps shore up the niceties of polite behavior. This decreases chaos and gives focus in extreme situations.
With remaining family, talk about the death, the loss, and the pain. Revisit the good memories of your child, and not just the immediate memories of the death. Try to understand that every person within the family will be grieving in their own manner. It is better to express feelings than to internalize them; crying has been proved to be healthy and therapeutic.
The memories Mary and John would share would be helpful to them.
Allow friends to help. When they ask what they can do for you, don’t be afraid to tell them of your needs. This will also help them.
While professional help may be needed, many parents do turn to The Compassionate Friends for support, finding hope and comfort by sharing their story with others. In this way they may gain insights into their reactions and learn ways to cope. Sharing also eases loneliness and allows expression of grief in an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding.
Bereaved parents often want to do something constructive in memory of their sons or daughters. Many have established memorial funds, created scholarships, made donations to special charities, given books to libraries, planted trees, and become involved in helping others. For many, such acts keep the memories of their children alive and vibrant, giving them and others opportunities to feel the beauty of the life and love of their child. Not only are these activities a wonderful tribute, but they can also be very healing while providing a sense of purpose to the parent.
Jesus was seeking healing and a new purpose for them both.

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We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He has saved all who call upon His name and rely on Him for His Grace. The Scriptures are living & active and are for understanding the Lord Almighty. Biblical readings are chosen from the Ecumenical Christian Church and the Nicene Council, 325 A.D., approved Apocrypha. People remember not just from reading, but by sight and orally- an image has been added as well as audio readings. God tends to link the passages together with fascinates - this blogger, Anne-Laurel Gardere

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Email registry at bottom.! “All Scripture is inspired by God” (2 Timothy 3:16). Men “moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:21). The Holy Spirit carried men along, moving and guiding them as they wrote in their own words what God wanted them to say. The Bible is unique; comprised of 80 separate books, & written over a period of thousands of years by more than 40 writers with one Author, spanning the centuries, different states of peace & war & different situations in life. The Bible answers the question: of who is God, who is man & what can their relationship can be. Although the Bible was written on perishable material and copied by hand for many centuries, its accuracy is not in doubt, proven by Dead Sea Scrolls and papyrus from 2,000 years. The Bible has survived persecution & criticism to be read with great interest in each generation. The Bible gives witness to the greatness of the Creator. A loving Father concerned for all of his creation. With each verse of the bible witnessing to God is love and the multitude & vastness of His attributes. The Bible was written for you. <><

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