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A Cry Of Compassion Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
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March 27, 2023 2:00 am

A Cry Of Compassion Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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March 27, 2023 2:00 am

While Jesus was hanging on the cross, He was thinking about others. As life slipped from His body, Jesus gave the world an example in caring for those He loved. In this message, we meet the three people who are involved in this third cry from the cross. The closer we get to the cross, the better we should see ourselves.

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. The pain Christ bore on the cross for you and me was immense, but there was someone else at that cross whose heart was breaking. As life slipped from his body, Jesus spoke to his mother and gave the world an example to follow in caring for those we love.

From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, it's hard to imagine any of us knowing the kind of sorrow Mary felt. You know, Dave, standing there at the foot of the cross, I believe that the prophecy that Simeon gave to Mary was fulfilled when he said, A sword shall pierce through thine own heart also. Standing there seeing her son suffer, not only the wrath of man, but also the wrath of God, taking upon himself the sin of the world.

And there she stood. And even in his pain, as we shall learn today, we discover that Jesus was thinking of his mother. The older I get, the more I like to contemplate what happened there on the cross, because it is there that we are redeemed. And there's a reason why the Apostle Paul said, God forbid that I should glory except in the cross, but also there is the offense of the cross.

It humbles us. It's not a pendant to be worn around the neck, but it is, of course, God's saving event in history. I've written a book entitled, cries from the cross, a journey into the heart of Jesus. I believe that it will be a blessing to you and encouragement and instructive for a gift of any amount.

It can be yours. Here's what you do. Go to RTW

That's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Let us in reverence go to the cross and try to grasp what happened there. Samuel Johnson once said that nothing focuses the mind like the knowledge that one is to be hanged. If you knew that you were to be hung, your mind would be very focused.

And the last thing that we would expect from someone who knows that he is to be hung is to be concerned about others. We would expect his thoughts to be totally self absorbed just before he goes into eternity. But isn't it interesting that Jesus on the cross hanging there thinks about others. William Barkley says there is something infinitely moving in the fact that Jesus in the agony of the cross, in the moment when the salvation of the world hung in the balance, thought of the loneliness of his mother in the days when he would be taken away.

And so it is. There are four women that are at the cross and one disciple and the story is recorded for us in the 19th chapter of John's gospel. I want you to turn to that, John chapter 19, where there is this short segment in the saga of Jesus Christ's death. John chapter 19 verse 25. Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, that would be Salome, who is actually the mother of James and John, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

That's four women. And when Jesus saw his mother there and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, dear woman, here is your son. And to the disciple, here is your mother.

And from that time on this disciple took her into his home. As a result of today's message, I think we're going to see that the closer we get to the cross, the more sense of responsibility that we have. The more we get to the cross, the closer we come, we will see that the cross reveals to us who we really are and we'll see that in these personages we in effect see ourselves. Because the cross of Jesus Christ, once you are confronted with it, you cannot remain neutral.

The cross will do something in you and for you, either softening your heart that you might be drawn to the savior or making it harder as you turn away. What we'd like to do in the next moments is to simply look at the personages, the three people who are involved in this third cry from the cross. As you know, this is a series of messages titled cries from the cross. We've analyzed the words of Jesus when he made that remarkable statement.

Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. Last time as we were looking at the thief on the cross when Jesus said those remarkable words, today, today you shall be with me in paradise. And now we come to the third word, the third cry when he said, Dear woman, here is your son. Here is your mother. First of all, we begin looking at the mother. We look at Mary, the mother of Jesus.

We see, first of all, and we're reminded of the fact that as she stands here, a prophecy is being fulfilled. You'll recall that when Jesus was a little boy, he was taken into the temple in Jerusalem and Simeon held him in his hands and Simeon made this remarkable statement. He said to Mary, a sword shall pierce your own heart also so that the thoughts of many people shall be revealed. And we look at Mary's life and we can see that the sword pierced her heart on many occasions. First of all, we think of the time when the innocent boys near Bethlehem, the children were massacred. You remember Herod was so angry because he was threatened by this king who was born in Bethlehem that he ordered his soldiers to go into homes and mercilessly kill any infant boy two years of age and under. And it says that throughout the whole Bethlehem area, there was this cry, Rachel, symbolic of the mothers of Bethlehem, crying for their little ones.

You mothers can relate. And Mary knew in her heart that it was because of her son that this was happening. Surely, yes, she did not do the evil, but it was the birth of her son that caused Herod's insecurity and his anger.

And I'm sure that it hurt her deeply. And then we think of the time when the sword came to Mary when some of the sarcastic remarks were made about the birth of Jesus, when the Pharisees said we were not born of fornication implying that Christ was. Some people dispute it, but it's certainly possible that there were various whispers going on regarding the birth of Jesus, how that the conception occurred before Joseph married her. And so there was always this implication that somehow Jesus Christ's birth was not legitimate and Mary knew the truth, but she also had to endure the shame.

And then we think of Jesus in his ministry. She knew that her son was perfect, which incidentally leads to some interesting speculation regarding what it must have been like to rear a perfect child. I know this, that we as parents, I'm speaking of the Lutzer's, we did not have that privilege. But Mary did. And what does that mean in terms of the relationship with the other half brothers that Jesus had?

And they are listed for us in the New Testament. And so Mary knew all that and yet she saw her son reviled, scorned, misunderstood, all of those things took place and she had to endure it. And now suddenly at the cross, the sword finally reached its most sensitive target. It was as if the sword went into her heart and divided it. Here she is now in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ as he is dying on the cross. She saw the beatings, she saw the groans, she heard all of the things that were being said, and now mothers, think of this, she had to endure her son being crucified.

How can we begin to visualize it? She saw the crown of thorns, but she could not remove it. She saw the nails in his hands, but she could not pull them out.

She saw the lacerations of his body, but she could not put salve in those wounds. She heard the cries and the tauntings and the jeers and the ridicule. She heard all that, but she could not silence the crowd and there she stood.

I like what the text says in John 19. It says that she stood near the cross. She was standing there. She didn't swoon, she didn't faint, though that would not have been wrong. The simple fact is she was there for her son. Now I think that she might have been able to save him. She might have been able to go to the authorities and as a mother plead for mercy. In fact, she might have even said that, you know, really he's insane.

She could have maybe used that argument that he's insane, that don't take his words seriously. And perhaps she would have been able to work sympathy and rescue her son with whatever it would take. But I'll tell you, Mary was a wiser woman than that.

She did not want to interfere with the divine mystery. She knew that there was something that was happening on that cross and that she herself was being redeemed. Perhaps also she entertained the hope that at some point he would be able to come down from the cross.

She knew that he had 10,000 angels at his disposal. He could have spoken the word. He could have come down from the cross.

Maybe somehow in the end he would not die. But I want you to know this, that when he turned to her and said, woman, you'll notice that there in the text, dear woman, here is your son. And he was not referring to himself.

He was referring to John. And here, as he looked at John, here's your mother. She knew then that he was preparing her for the final, the final exit as he would die. And Jesus in doing this was saying in effect that the earthly ties were over and a brand new heavenly arrangement was about to begin. He would no longer be her son. From now on, he would be her savior.

And she did need to be saved, even as she said in the Magnificat, I rejoice in God, my savior. So the first person we look at is none other than Mary, the mother of Christ. Now we look at Jesus. I entitled this the son's example.

Here he is. He's writhing on the cross. He is mindful of the great sorrow that he has caused his mother. He's mindful of the distress that she has been under because raising him was not easy in light of all the criticism and in light of the persecution that the family received. And now he speaks to her and he says to her, dear woman. He calls her woman, not out of disrespect. It's the very same thing he did at the wedding of Cana of Galilee. He said, woman, what have I to do with thee?

Mine hour is not yet come. But Jesus never called Mary mother. It's never been recorded in the Bible. It's simply not there that he called her mother. Now John says that Mary was the mother of Jesus and we know what we mean when we say that she was the mother of Jesus.

But Jesus himself never calls her mother because I think he wants to distinguish between the fact that he is a heavenly son and she is an earthly mother. And even though she gave birth to him, she most assuredly did not give birth to the divine nature. That was the gift of God that was implanted within her so that she gave birth as it were to the humanness of Christ but the divine nature was a part of Jesus since he was a baby. That's the miracle of the virgin birth.

That's the miracle of this conception. So she is not the mother of God in the sense that somehow she gave birth to God but she did give birth to a child who was indeed God, a very God. It's an important distinction and maybe Jesus as he looks through the corridors of time knows that there is going to be a time when Mary is going to be exalted far above any role that she would play biblically. And so in order to guard against some of the excesses that would eventually take place, Jesus never does call her mother.

He turns to her and says, dear woman. Now of course it was the responsibility of the firstborn son to take care of his mother and he takes care of her to the very end. This is his last will and testament.

Now I have a question for you. Why does he entrust his mother into the hands of John rather than some of his half-brothers? And Jesus did have brothers. They're listed for us in Matthew chapter 1355. They're named as James and Joseph and Simeon and even the name Judas to be sharply distinguished between that and one of Jesus Christ's disciples. The name Judas was very popular in those days.

It was as popular as the name John is today. Now because of what Judas the disciple did, people don't name their child Judas and therefore were not very acquainted with the name. But the simple fact is that Jesus had these brothers. Why were they not entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of Mary? I think the answer is in John chapter 7 where Jesus is going up to the feast in Jerusalem and it says neither did his brothers believe in him.

Can you believe that? You know the Bible has to be the word of God because if we were to work out a story of Jesus Christ being the son of God, we wouldn't have written it that way. We'd have said that his brothers very much believed on him because they saw him at close range but they didn't believe on him until after the resurrection. And we read in the book of Acts chapter 1 as they are in the upper room now as the 120 are gathered, it says they all join together constantly in prayer along with a woman and Mary the mother of Jesus with his brothers. They accepted Jesus Christ, their half brother as the Messiah.

They accepted him after the resurrection. And so you have Jesus as our example as he's thinking about his mother and concerned about her and entrusting her to John. So we've looked at a mother's love, we've looked at a son's example and now let us look at the disciples responsibility and I'm thinking here of course of John. Now the Bible says that when Jesus was taken into custody all the disciples forsook him and fled all of them and that includes John. And there was a divine prediction that was in a sense fulfilled when that happened because it says in Isaiah speaking of Christ I have trodden the winepress alone. There's a sense in which when the agony began Jesus had to be alone and of course we know that in the end he really did endure everything alone.

People could offer him sympathy but there's no way they could participate in his suffering. Mary and I'm sure John too would have given anything if they could have traded places with Jesus but that was impossible. There was no way that they could participate in the redemption of the world and so all the disciples forsook him and fled but John came back to his everlasting credit. He did because he is mentioned here of course in the passage of scripture that we read in the 19th chapter of the book of John. They were offended because of Christ and so they left. The Greek word is scandalized.

They were scandalized because of him. Years later Jesus and John are going to meet because you remember the story of how on the Isle of Patmos John is going to receive this revelation and it is the revelation of Jesus Christ and he's going to see Jesus in all of his glory. He's going to see Jesus in his strength and his might.

In fact his face shone like the sun we read but now he has the responsibility of taking care of his mother. You know it's interesting that when the resurrection occurred the Bible says that Peter and John ran into the tomb and they looked around and John believed. John believed. He finally grasped it and then it says the disciples went to their own homes.

You know what that means? That means that John would have hurried back home and he'd have told Mary that her son was risen from the dead and so John now has the responsibility does he not? He has to take into account all that Jesus Christ has asked him to do.

Behold your son. Behold your mother and the Bible says from that time on this disciple took her into his own home. And you know my friend you and I have the responsibility of taking God's disciples into our home. We have the responsibility of reaching out to those mothers and fathers that are going through times of difficulty but at the same time we must recognize that Jesus Christ there on the cross did something for us that no other person can do. He became sin for us that we through his righteousness we might be declared as righteous as he himself is. What a savior we have. I've written a book entitled cries from the cross a journey into the heart of Jesus of course as you might guess it actually is an exposition of the seven sayings of Jesus Christ when he was there on the cross. What we learned from him there about his grief about his struggle with our sin and even when he cried out and said my God my God why has thou forsaken me?

Have you ever contemplated that? Even in the midst of that of course it was a cry of distress it was not a cry of distrust he still said my God. For a gift of any amount this book can be yours here's what you do go to that's or if you wish you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 ask for the book cries from the cross a journey into the heart of Jesus and even as we approach the Easter season I want to thank the many of you who pray for us those of you who support us together we are making a difference and remember here at running to win it is indeed all about Jesus and we want to love him more and to serve him better thank you so much for helping us. It's time again for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question about the Bible or the Christian life sometimes our best efforts at parenting don't work out like we'd hoped listen to this story from one of our listeners at the age of 40 our son began to condemn us for what he called abuse in his childhood throughout all these years he said nothing about it but now at this age he's talking about it I feel he's interpreted what happened in much harsher light than what we believe or remember he's using his upbringing to justify rejecting Christ what advice can you give us a couple of things come immediately to mind it's possible that your son is magnifying what happened in his childhood maybe he didn't feel abused at the time but in retrospect he looks back and he feels as if he was abused now here's my advice to you it's very difficult for you to agree with your son on this matter because he may view it from one standpoint and you from another so here are the questions I have to ask you could it be indeed that you over disciplined him might it be that some of the things that you and your husband did could be construed as abuse face those questions honestly and then what you must do is to make your part of this equation right I would sit down with my son and I would have a very great heart-to-heart talk with him and as he accuses you of various things that happened in his childhood rather than you trying to correct him or justify yourself why don't you humble yourself and simply admit that you may have been wrong now don't admit to a lie obviously but probably from his standpoint he is seeing things very very differently so you ask for his forgiveness this will then put the onus of the responsibility on him and the fact that he uses this as an excuse to reject Jesus Christ you know of course in the day of judgment Jesus will not accept this what you need to do is to help him to understand that his relationship with Jesus Christ is vitally important and he will be held accountable for how he responded to Jesus despite the fact that he apparently has some deep resentment against you well this rather long answer is being given to you today with a prayer in my heart that you'll be reconciled and that your son will come to trust Christ as Savior thank you Dr. Lutzer for helping this couple and all of us become better parents if you'd like to hear your question answered go to our website at and click on ask pastor Lutzer or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us at running to win 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard Chicago Illinois 60614 running to win comes to you from the Moody Church in Chicago next time the lessons we can all take home from the example of Jesus caring for his mother thanks for listening for pastor Erwin Lutzer this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-27 05:38:45 / 2023-03-27 05:47:18 / 9

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