So many came by the cross the day that Jesus died. It would seem from the Gospel accounts that most of the people who watched were either unconcerned or antagonistic. However, there was one other group at Mt. Calvary. Some of them stood close by, while part stood at a distance. These did not ridicule or taunt the Lord. They did not wag their heads in disbelief or walk away without concern. Rather, these folks were broken. They had been Jesus’ closest and most faithful followers.
From a distance, most, if not all of Jesus’ apostles, save Judas, were watching salvation unfold. Yet they were too frightened to come near the cross. Can there be any doubt that these men were broken … broken at the death of a dream and broken by their own betrayal of their Lord and their friend?
Standing near the cross, His mother watched her son dying. His best friend, John, and several other women who had accompanied and helped support Jesus through His ministry years stood with her. As they looked on, Jesus took time to speak to and care for His mother. She and John were the only people Jesus spoke to personally during his three hours of agony – “Dear woman behold thy son, son behold thy mother.”
Of all the words that Jesus spoke while He was dying, these seem to be at the heart of the gospel message. For it was to the broken that Jesus came and died. Those broken under the weight of sin and guilt, loss and loneliness. Those who longed to have Him back, those who had turned their backs on Him, those who had denied they even knew Him. For all these, He died. For all these, He would rise again.
From the cross, Jesus saw the cynic, the unconcerned, and the broken. He came to die for them all, but only the broken would fully appreciate the price Jesus was willing to pay. Only those who come to the cross and look with longing and despair, only these will find the power of the Savior’s sacrifice and the release of resurrection. Oh, it was available for all who were there that day; Jesus died “once for all,” but not all would find what the cross offered. Will you? The answer is found not by simply standing and watching what happened on that cross but by coming to the cross broken.
“…why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” John 20:15