“When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’ Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” John 19:26–27
He next two scenes recalled by John in his account of the crucifixion are the casting of the lots for Christ’s clothes and Jesus’ entrusting his mother to the care of the disciple John.
When a condemned person was crucified it was intended that the experience would strip them of everything, all pride and honor, before they died. Part of the process was stripping them naked, a reality that was particularly humiliating for Jewish prisoners with whom modesty was prized.
Once the soldiers work was complete and the condemned was secured to the cross it was customary that they divided the clothes among themselves. John records that those soldiers responsible for crucifying Jesus, at this time, divided his clothes into four parts, each taking a part. The tunic however made up a fifth part and not wanting to tear the garment, since it was made of a single piece of cloth, they cast lots to see who would get it.
This seemingly trivial occurrence was recorded so that we would remember that every prophecy pertaining to Jesus’ life and death had been fulfilled. Even the dividing of his clothes.
After this John records that even in his agony on the cross Jesus heart had consideration for his mother. Mary was in Jerusalem for the Passover celebration, and she had received word of Jesus trial and condemnation, and the disciple John, together with two other women, had brought her to see Jesus one last time.
Even to the last Mary, and those followers of Jesus courageous enough to follow him to Calvary, continued to hope that Jesus would assert himself, use his divine power to throw off his abusers and fulfill their expectations of the Messiah and become King over Israel. But Jesus had not come to reign, he come to die and with his death purchase our salvation.
Even in his agony upon the cross the heart of Jesus was unaltered. As he saw his weeping and heart broken mother supported by the disciple John at the foot of the cross he entrusted her to that earthly companion whose love and devotion for him had surpassed any other.
“Woman, behold your son!”
And turning to John he said, “Behold your mother!”
Even to his last breath Jesus honored his mother. Many would have found in his situation an excuse for not giving consideration for the fifth Commandment. But Jesus was faithful in everything to the last, and his faithfulness is the pattern set for all of us to follow. Jesus perfect life is also the substitute presented before heavens judgment seat for every sinner, saved by grace, in place of the sin stained life we’ve lived. He was faithful to the end so that we might by faith stand perfect in him.