[John 19: 26 -27], [Matthew 27 :46]
[John 19: 26 -27] “When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He *said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He *said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own [household.]”
[Matthew 27 :46] “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Today, before we get into the sermon, let me introduce an old story.
Once upon a time, there were a green frog mother and son. This son was so disobedient to his mother that he always did the opposite of what his mother told him.
If she told him to do something he did not do it. If she told him not to do something, he did it. If she told him to go to the east, he went to the west. The mother green frog had such hard time because of her son. Finally she was in her death bed and spoke her final will.
She said, “Do not make my tomb on a hillside but near the river.” If you make a tomb near the river, not on the hillside, it will be wiped away during the monsoon season.
But since this son always did the opposite thing, she thought her son would do the opposite thing this time also, and that is why she told him to make her tomb near the river.
But after the mother died, this son repented. He wanted to obey his mother’s last will and buried her near the river saying, “I have disobeyed my mother for my whole life, and how can I wash my sins!”
Now, in every monsoon season, he worries about his mother’s tomb and cries out loudly “Frog Grave!” “Frog Grave!” Of course, this is just a story made by men, but there is a great lesson here.
Men speak a lot of words during their lives, but everybody considers a person’s last will very important. Even disobedient and prodigal children try to obey their parents’ last will. Also, the parents want to leave words that can really benefit their children when they give their last will.
But our God and the Lord Jesus love us with the love that cannot be compared to the love of our parents.
And the last things spoken by Jesus with all His strength as He was hanging on the cross just before His death and passed to us are known as the “Last Seven Statements of the Cross”
This is the 16th session on the Message of Cross, and we will begin with the third of the last seven things spoken on the cross. I hope you will keep each of the Jesus’ last words deep inside your heart through this message.
I pray in the name of the Lord that, by doing this, you will dwell in the love of Jesus who gave His life for us.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the third of the last seven statements of Jesus is found in John 19:26-27. It says, “When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He *said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He *said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own household.”
Here, in Jesus’ words, “Woman, behold, your son!” the “son” does not refer to Jesus, but to John, who was standing beside Mary. He was telling Mary to consider John as her own son. Then, Jesus said to John, “Behold, your mother!”
From that time, John took Mary to his house and served her like his own mother.
What you and I have to remember here is that Jesus did not call Mary ‘mother’ but ‘woman’.
Verse 26 of today’s scripture says, “Jesus therefore saw His mother,” does not mean that Jesus called the Virgin Mary His mother.
This was written by John from his viewpoint of the relationship between Mary and Jesus. We find no record of Jesus calling Mary His mother in the Bible.
For example, in John chapter 2, when Jesus turned water into wine, He said, “Woman, what do I have to do with you? My hour has not yet come,” He called Mary ‘woman’. It is because the Virgin Mary can never become Jesus’ mother.
Jesus is the original substance of God the Father, being one of God the Trinity. God the Creator cannot have a mother. In Exodus 3:14, God says, “I AM WHO I AM.”
Nobody gave birth to or created God. God exists by Himself from before eternity throughout eternity and beyond eternity. Therefore, Jesus, who is God Himself in origin, cannot call the Virgin Mary, a creature, mother.
Even genetically, the Virgin Mary could not be Jesus’ mother. When a baby is conceived, the sperm of the father and the egg of mother must combine. The life energy of the parents is contained in the sperm and egg. But in the case of Jesus, although Mary gave birth to Jesus, Jesus was not conceived using an egg of Mary.
Jesus only used Mary’s body, like a surrogate mother. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. For example, when a baby is grown up in an incubator, the incubator cannot become the baby’s parent.
In the same way, Mary cannot be the mother of Jesus, who is the Son of God. God wants His children to serve and worship God the Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit only.
Therefore, Exodus 20:3-5 says, “You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. “You shall not worship them or serve them;”
We should never make any image and worship it. We must only worship God.
Next, when Jesus said to the Virgin Mary, “Woman, behold, your son!” it was to comfort Mary.
As Mary was watching her dear Jesus suffering so much, she had such great pain in her heart as if being stabbed by a knife. Jesus, in His compassion, remembered Mary and comforted her even to the last moments. He allowed for her to depend on John as her own son.
Then, by saying to John, “Behold, your mother,” Jesus asked John to serve Mary like his own mother. After Mary gave birth to Jesus as a virgin, she gave birth to many children with Joseph her husband. But, Jesus did not say to any of Mary’s children ‘look after your mother” but he requested it of John saying, “Behold, your mother.”
In Philippians 3:20 it says, “For our sole citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;” here we are able to clearly realize a true sense of the place to which we belong.
As said, we who are saved are citizens of the heavenly kingdom. When we accept the Lord our names are written in the book of life in heaven much the same as registering the birth of a baby in a local government office.
The father of the citizens of heaven, whose names are recorded in the book of life, is God. The true brothers and sisters of the citizens of the heavenly kingdom are the children of God who believe in the Lord. Then, even though our parents gave birth to us, why do we say God is our Father? It is because the origin of life comes from God.
Our physical parents gave birth to our bodies, but originally, even the seeds of life were given by God. If we go back through paternal ancestry, the father for all of us is Adam. The life of Adam, who is the origin of mankind, came from God.
God Himself made the body of Adam and breathed into him the breath of life. Therefore, the origin of our lives came from God. Also, even if we marry and give birth to children, we cannot conceive a baby if God does not allow it.
Also, God has the sole control over giving the spirit and soul to the baby who is conceived. Today, the science has developed to the point that the human cloning is being debated. But no matter how much technology may develop, man will never be able to create the spirit or soul of a man, it will never be done. Even if we might clone the shape of man, his body, God does not give the spirit to him.
Thus, a cloned man will be no different than an animal, and we cannot call him a true human being.
Also, the parents cannot control the gender, characters, and appearances of their children. Only God alone can control the life.
In our church there are many married couples who weren’t able to conceive but were able to have a child by the power of God. For 3, 5, 7, and even 10 years’ of married life they were not able to have a baby. They used all kinds of methods, but were still unsuccessful.
But when they heard about God’s power manifested through me and received prayer with faith, they came to have children by the power of God.
Especially, in the revival of 1993, God moved my heart to proclaim to the attendants the blessings of conceiving babies and pray for it, so scores of married couples conceived almost at the same time.
So, after about 4 or 5 years, those children who were born through that revival, together joined our church affiliated kindergarten. Let me give you one testimony of a married couple who was blessed with having a baby.
Deacon Jaesong Lee and his wife deaconess Heesook Seol did not have a baby for seven years of their marriage before they came to our church. Then, they attended a revival meeting of our church and experienced the living God.
The wife was healed of stuffed up nose that she had for five years, and the husband was healed of a chronic duodenal ulcer. They gained faith through these experiences, and now they wanted to conceive a baby by the power of God. They came to me and received prayer.
God answered their prayer and gave them a beautiful daughter in the 7th year of marriage. And, something happened to this daughter when she was 11 months old. While her mother was not watching her for a moment, she swallowed a corkboard pushpin that was 2 centimeters (just under an inch) long.
She began to cry so much since the sharp pin was going down her esophagus. The mother became aware of the situation and received my prayer for the sick recorded in the telephone automatic response service. After receiving the prayer, the baby stopped crying and began to play with smile on her face. When the baby emptied her bowl after some time, the pushpin came out.
God protected her completely while the pin was going through all her soft intestines.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, it is God who gives spirit to men; it is also God who controls life, death, fortune, and misfortune. And this God is our Father.
But the worldly people, who do not believe in God but follow the lust of the world, cannot call God ‘Father’. The Bible says that these people’s father is the devil.
John 8:44 says, “You are of [your] father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own [nature;] for he is a liar, and the father of lies.”
The worldly people live as the devil tempts them, and at the end of the world, they will be thrown into the fire of hell. On the contrary, believers who call God Father will live in heaven for ever.
A family on this earth cannot be together forever in heaven if they do not believe in the Lord. After this life on earth, the heavenly kingdom and hell will be separated, and the way to each will be different.
Matthew 12:48-50 also says, “But He answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?”
And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold, My mother and My brothers! “For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”
The Lord lets us know that the believers who believe in the Lord are our true family members who will live together in the kingdom of heaven forever. But this does not mean that we should not love our parents and brothers on this earth. We should obviously love and serve them, but this love should be spiritual love that is right in the sight of God.
If your family members blaspheme God and force you to do the opposite of God’s will, it is not true love to follow them.
For example, if you parents tell you, “You should help us in doing some work on this Sunday, so do not go to church,” should you obey this?
Also, if your biological brother commits sins and tells you to commit sins enjoying bad things with him, will you listen to him to please him? This is not love but the way of death.
That is why Matthew 10:37 says, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” We should of course love our physical parents and brothers, but we should love and serve them within the truth.
Also, if you love your physical parents and family members, above all else, you should evangelize them so that they will be saved and go to the kingdom of heaven. Your family should be true family who will live in the kingdom of heaven together forever.
In the third statement of the last seven things said on the cross is contained the love of Jesus who wanted to comfort the mourning heart of Mary. Also, He lets us know that we who are saved, belong to heavenly kingdom and our true family is the brothers and sisters in faith.
Next, the fourth of the last seven statements Jesus made on the cross is found in Matthew 27:46. It says, “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?”
When we look at Mark 15:25 it says, “And it was the third hour when they crucified Him.” The third hour is about 9 in the morning
So, when it was about the ninth hour, it means Jesus had hung on the cross in excruciating pain for six hours. Some misunderstand these words of Jesus, “WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?” and say that Jesus was showing His resentment against God due to such great pain.
But Jesus did not cry out to God in resentment or suffering. Jesus knew what would happen even before He came to this earth, and He knew about the pain of the cross, too. Still, He voluntarily chose the way of cross to fulfill God’s providence.
Jesus would never have lamented before God when all the pains were almost over. These words contain neither resentment nor lamentation, but very important spiritual meaning instead.
First, when Jesus said this, He cried out with a loud voice. Actually, Jesus did not have any strength to cry out in a loud voice.
He was questioned in different locations all night and was whipped severely. He carried the heavy cross and climbed up to Golgotha falling down many times.
In this condition, He was crucified, and He was hung there for six hours, shedding His blood. Therefore, it was difficult to even say a word softly, but He was now crying out with a loud voice.
It was because everybody who hears these words has to realize the meaning. Jesus wanted to let everybody hear and realize why Jesus had to be forsaken by God and why He had to be crucified so wretchedly.
Now, Jesus was completely forsaken by God while He was cursed hanging on the cross. Why was that? All of mankind had become sinners; it was to redeem us from those sins.
We were all destined to be forsaken by God due to the curse of the Law, but Jesus took the curses on behalf of us and was forsaken by God because of it.
To save us, who were to descende into hell, and to lead us to the kingdom of heaven instead, Jesus died for all of us. Because Jesus wanted everybody to realize this meaning, He was crying out with a loud voice, with all His strength.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in the Bible, when Jesus calls or refers to God, He always said “Father” as a loving son.
When people first believe in God and begin to pray, they call Him, ‘God’. And as their faith grows, they begin to say, “God the Father,” or “Father, God”.
Because they believe in their heart that God is their father, they naturally use the expression, ‘father’. Those who more deeply love God and communicate with Him would not usually say, ‘God’ but just call Him, ‘Father’ or ‘Abba, Father’.
Because He is such gracious and loving Father, they do not even say ‘God’. It means they have personal and intimate relationship with God. For example, let us say a son of the president of a big business group is the CEO of one of the companies.
Then, in official occasions, this son would call the president, ‘president’ but in private places, he would call him ‘father’.
If he still calls his father ‘president’ even in private occasions, the relationship of the father and the son is rather a strange one. It is the same when believers interact with God. Those children who love God and share each other’s feelings with Him will call God ‘Father’ in a friendly way when they pray.
But when they pray officially for a meeting or a service, they are representing everybody who has different measures of faith, so it is more appropriate to say ‘God’, or ‘Father God’.
Jesus always shared deep love with God as His son and when He prayed He always said, ‘Father’. But in today’s scripture, Jesus specifically was saying ‘My God’. What is the reason?
It is because Jesus was calling God in the place of a sinner who is cursed. Jesus was hung on the cross as a sinner taking all the curses of the mankind on behalf of them.
A sinner would not dare to call God, who is holy, ‘Father’. So, in this situation where Jesus was forsaken on behalf of sinners and was hung on the cross, He did not say ‘Father’, but ‘God’.
It is the same with you. If you profess your faith but still live in sins, you cannot boldly pray as God’s child. You cannot boldly call God ‘Father’, while you do not even live by the will of God but as God’s enemy devil and Satan tempts you.
God cannot recognize you as His true child.
Jesus was forsaken instead of sinners although He is the sinless and spotless Son of God, and at this moment, He could not even call God ‘Father’. To let us realize the reason why He forsook all the glory of heaven and was forsaken like sinners, Jesus was crying in a loud voice with all His strength.
Imagine Jesus speaking to you from the cross saying, “Do you know why God forsook Me? I was forsaken because I loved you so much that I wanted to redeem you from your sins.” Jesus wanted everybody to know this fact.
Another reason He cried out loudly is because so many people are going to the way of death befriending the world, even though God even gave His one and only Son for the sinners.
He cried out loudly because He wanted everybody to realize the reason why He was hung on the cross, accept Him as the Savior, and gain life.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today, I talked about the 3rd and 4th statements among the last seven spoken on the cross. The third is “Woman, behold your son” and “Behold, your mother.” Through these words, Jesus lets us know about true sense of spiritual belonging for God’s children.
He lets us know that our original home is the kingdom of heaven and that our true brothers and sisters are the brothers and sisters in faith.
The fourth statement is “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?” This was to let us realize Jesus died to save the sinners and to lead us to leave sins and go to the way of life.
If you truly believe in your heart that Jesus was forsaken and died on the cross because of our sins, you should not dwell in sins any more but live a life that is distinctly set apart and holy.
That way, we should be able to become God’s children who can call Him, ‘Father’. Also, we should be able to guide the way to salvation of the many souls who are going to the way of death without knowing the truth. I urge you to imprint the words of Jesus and live a life that is proper in the sight of God.
I pray in the name of the Lord that, by doing this, you will be able to dwell with the Lord in the most glorious dwelling place in the heavenly kingdom.