Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
There were many people around Jesus during the days that He was crucified. The cross always reveals the position of where everyone stands. It is amazing how the cross shows your heart for Christ. Christ carried His cross, and it would seem that every person who He touched in His ministry would have been there with Him in what seemed to be His final days. Sadly, the cross became a lonely time for our Saviour. Those who should have been there had their reasons for their position, but regret was the result of not being near the cross when Jesus died. I find four obvious positions of Calvary in the book of John.
Standing with the wrong crowd is the first position of Calvary. Jesus was in the garden praying when a band of men came to take Jesus to crucify him. In this crowd was a familiar face. This face was the face of one of Christ’s disciples who followed Him for three years. It says about Judas Iscariot in John 18:5, And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. How sad this is that Judas stood with the wrong crowd. He had seen every miracle, heard every sermon, and sat with Jesus in private times, yet he stood with the other crowd.
Standing without is the second position of Calvary. John 18:16 says about Peter, But Peter stood at the door without. Peter was the one who proclaimed that he was willing to die for Christ, and yet we see him warming himself at the heathen’s fire, and not only warming himself, but denying that he knew Christ.
Secretly following is the third position of Calvary. John 19:38 says, …Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews… Yes, Joseph took the body of Jesus and gave Him a proper burial, but where was he in the most needed time of the Saviour? Oh, he was “secretly” following Him. This was a time when Jesus didn’t need secret followers, but followers who would be with Him.
Standing by the cross is the fourth position of Calvary. It says about Mary in John 19:25, Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother,… Yes, she was the mother of Jesus, and one would expect her to stand by Him, but she was as much a follower of Christ as the rest, yet she was not ashamed to stand by Jesus.
Which position do you find yourself in as you live your daily life? Are you standing with the opposing crowd? How can you run with the crowd who opposes the Saviour who saved you from your sin? One day you will see your Saviour face to face, and what will your excuse be as you stood with the crowd who opposes Him and His cause? There is no hurt great enough to cause you to stand with the crowd who opposes Christ and His cause.
Let me ask, are you following afar off or secretly following? There is no such thing as a secret follower of Christ. To secretly follow Christ is to stand against Christ. Oh, your intentions may be good, but following Christ secretly or afar off will do nothing for the cause of Christ.
My friend, the only position where you should be found is by the side of Christ. Never be ashamed of standing for Christ, for it is He who was willing to be humiliated so that He can pay for your sin, and to stand close by Him is the least you can do.