One of the most fascinating things about the Passion Story in John’s gospel is that Jesus is completely in control throughout. We are used to the plucking of our emotional heartstrings on Holy Week, from the exuberance of Palm Sunday to the darkness of Good Friday to the joy of Resurrection Sunday. We’ve seen movies and heard stories of the cruelty of the crucifixion and seen the suffering and pain on Jesus’ face. But when you read John’s account with a first-time reader’s eye, you notice that Jesus is in complete control of His emotions, but also of everything else.
From the Garden of Gethsemane to the moment of His death, Jesus seems unfazed by the activity going on around Him. Rather than cries of anguish, we find theological and philosophical debates going on. Rather than soldiers mocking Him on the cross with a vinegar sponge, we find Jesus saying, “I’m thirsty” and receiving a drink.
But nowhere is this more evident than when it comes to His mother Mary. As Jesus hangs from the cross, He makes arrangements for His mother’s care. As a widow, Mary would have had nobody to look after her once her children were gone. Where Jesus’ other siblings were we don’t know, but here on the cross, Jesus entrusts Mary to the care of John this Disciple. As one of the youngest of the disciples, Jesus also turns the care about and offers His own mother to care for the boy. “Woman, here is your son,” He says to Mary. And to John, “Here is your mother.” (John 19:26).
When life seems out of control, remember that this same Jesus, who was in complete control even over His own death, can be in control of your life as well. But He won’t force Himself on you. You have to give up your own control and allow Him to take the wheel. It’s not easy, but once He has control, you will find that life becomes a million times more peaceful.
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