Tag Archives: Mary Magdalene

Passion Week – The Crucifixion: John 19:23-30 / “Thief” by Third Day

The above image is from Revealed: A Storybook Bible for Grown-Ups by Ned Bustard. The image itself is called “The Crucifixion” as was created by Eric Gill.

John 19:23-30 [ESV]
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” So the soldiers did these things, but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus 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 to his own home. After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said ( to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Dear God, I spent some time with this image this morning before I left town for the day, and I’ve thought about it a lot since then. Now, its late in the evening and my wife has gone to bed. I have some time to really sit with it and consider what Eric Gill wanted to share.

  • Jesus is obviously the focus of the image. He has the halo around him that Catholics and some others put around Saints and the Holy Family. He looks thin. He has his thorn of crowns. He is totally naked, but Gill gives him some modesty by covering him with someone’s outstretched hands. Could this be Jesus’s mother helping to cover her boy?
  • It appears that three women have the halo as well. One has her face hidden and the other two are shown. Is this Gill showing us Mary, Jesus’ mother, Mary’s sister, and Mary Magdalene?
  • There is one man in the picture. Is this John? He is standing near the three women, so I would say it is probably John, readying to take care of Jesus’s mother.
  • Oh, there are two other men in the picture too. One is on the cross on the left and the other on the right. The one on the left is only shone by his face, but he has the Saint halo. There are five haloed people in this image, and he is one of them. The other man on the cross is shown not only with no halo, but his nakedness is shown as well. Gill allowed Jesus and the other dying man some modesty, but to the man who mocked Jesus Gill gave a complete humiliation.
  • Gill included the writing at the top of Jesus’s cross, and he gives us the version of the cross that looks more like a capital “T” than a lowercase “t.”

Last night, I sat with the image of the last supper. Now, this image shows the culmination of what happened over the next 18 hours. It happened that fast. No due process. No jury of peers. Just humiliation and death.

I was talking with my dad this evening about how sometimes the plan we would lay out on paper is the wrong plan, and the plan that will accomplish your actual will looks terrible on paper. I would say that this whole thing with Jesus is a prime example of that.

Then there is the haloed man on the cross to Jesus’s right. While I was driving today, I heard a song I hadn’t heard in about 20 years. It’s called “Thief” and is by Third Day.

“Thief” by Third Day

I am a thief, I am a murderer
Walking up this lonely hill
What have I done? No, I don’t remember
No one knows just how I feel
And I know that my time is coming soon

It’s been so long, oh, such a long time
Since lived with peace and rest
Now I am here, my destination
I guess things work for the best
And I know that my time is coming soon

Who is this man? This man beside me
They call the King of the Jews
They don’t believe that He’s the Messiah
But somehow, I know that it’s true

They laugh at Him in mockery
And they beat Him ’til He bleeds
And they nail Him to the rugged cross
They raise Him, yeah, they raise Him up next to me

My time has come and I’m slowly fading
I deserve what I receive
Jesus when You are in Your kingdom
Could You please, please remember me?

And He looks at me still holding on
The tears fall from His eyes
And He says I tell the truth
Today, you will be with Me in paradise

And I know that my time, yes my time is coming soon
And I know that my time, yes my time, is coming soon
And I know Paradise, Paradise is coming soon

Songwriters: Bradley B. C. Avery / David Carr / Johnny Mac Powell / Mark D. Lee / Samuel Tai Anderson

Father, in the end, so much happened in 18 hours. The world changed in 18 hours. All of human time and space changed in 18 hours. Mercy came to the world in those 18 hours. And the plan looked absolutely terrible on paper, but it’s exactly what we needed. We needed our Passover Lamb. I needed a Passover Lamb. I needed mercy. I needed grace. I needed freedom. And the sacrifice all came in these 18 hours. But at this point on that Friday night, the plan looked like it had all fallen apart. We just never know what you’re up to. They didn’t know it then, and I don’t know it now. But I trust you.

In Jesus’s name I pray,



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Peter & John — John 20:1-10

John 20:1-10 NASB
[1] Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. [2] So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” [3] So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. [4] The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; [5] and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. [6] And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there, [7] and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. [8] So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. [9] For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. [10] So the disciples went away again to their own homes.

Dear God, several years ago I noticed something interesting about this story. In fact, this is one of the reasons I wanted to compare and contrast John and Peter. John outruns Peter there (what does it say about his state of mind that he would either intentionally or unintentionally outrun Peter), but then he cautiously stops and doesn’t go in, but only looks at a distance.

On the other hand, Peter isn’t as fast as John, but he’s certainly more bold. He gets there last, but goes straight in. John then follows Peter.

As I sit here and think about it this morning, this is the first activity of the new Christian church’s leadership post-resurrection, and in it I think Peter shows why his personality allows him to be the leader. He is, indeed, courageous. He is also a little less cautious, which can be a problem. In the case of how things will play out, I think John will need that part of Peter’s personality to move him out of his comfort zone, but Peter will need people like John to help him see the big picture before acting.

Father, help me to be the person you want me to be to accomplish what you have for our group to accomplish. It’s board meeting week. I bring a certain set of weaknesses and strengths to the table as does everyone else. As we talk and discuss everything before us, my prayer is that we will be able to accept the work and input of the others that you need us to have so that we can be as effective in our work as possible. And of course, do it all for your glory and not ours.

In Jesus’ name I pray,


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Posted by on November 26, 2018 in John, Peter and John


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Peter & John — Luke 24:8-12

Luke 24:8-12 NASB
[8] And they remembered His words, [9] and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. [10] Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles. [11] But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them. [12] But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened.

Dear God, this time must have still been so foggy for Peter and the rest of the disciples. In this telling of the story, the others don’t believe so Peter goes alone. In another telling, Peter and John both go. Either way, there are no examples of the story where they all go. Maybe they were afraid of being caught. And maybe it would have been bad for all 11 of them to be seen at an empty tomb.

Now that I think about it, it was a brave thing for Peter and John to come out of hiding and go to the tomb. I wonder if Peter’s regret from Friday had grown into determination on Sunday. He was still in the fog and trying to make sense of everything that was happening to himself. I’m sure he was trying to think back and remember everything Jesus had said that Peter didn’t understand at the time. Could this really be true?

Father, help me to know and understand from moment to moment the things that you need me to know and understand. And for those things that knowing and understanding would hold me back and keep me from pursuing you and found your work, keep me intentionally ignorant and give me peace in that ignorance.

In Jesus’ name I pray,


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Posted by on November 13, 2018 in Luke, Peter and John


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Peter & John — Matthew 27:56

Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James and Joseph), and the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee.

Matthew 27:56

Dear God, it’s interesting that Matthew skips so much detail. We will find out in other Gospels that John was there with his mother. We will get Peter’s redemption scene along the water. There’s just a lot that Matthew leaves out.

I can’t remember how much the other Gospels mention her, but I’m curious to see how much them mention James and John’s mother. I know she gets mentioned as a foolish person asking for greatness for her sons, but I don’t remember anything beyond that. In this case, Matthew is careful to point out that she is here at the cross, but she’s not there at the tomb on Sunday morning. Was she too busy being worried about her boys? Was she part of hiding them? Of course, anything would be a guess, but it is notable that somewhere between Friday night and a Sunday morning her priorities shift.

Father, I’m grateful the other Gospels give us more about Peter’s redemption. I’m also glad we get more details above John. Continue to teach me as I go through this process and get into Mark tomorrow.

In Jesus’ name I pray,


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Posted by on September 17, 2018 in Matthew, Peter and John


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