After being condemned to death on Thursday morning of Passion week, Jesus was quickly led to Golgotha, the Skull, for the sentence to be carried out before His supporters had an opportunity to organize and raise a protest.  The trial had already proved to be a sore ordeal for Pilate who wanted to release Him, and there was only more trouble for himself to be gained by any delay.  And to ensure nothing happened to prevent the fulfillment of their hard-won fight against Jesus, the religious leaders and their supporters followed Him to the place of execution to see Him crucified between two criminals and to gloat over their enemy as He died.  In doing so they also served as Satan’s surrogates in one last temptation to come down from the cross and save Himself, and to become a part of the worldly kingdom of which he, the devil, was already the head.  But whereas the first Adam succumbed to the serpent’s wiles to enslave the human race, the last Adam resisted unto death to do the Father’s will and become a life-giving spirit to set us free; 1Co 15:45.  By John’s reckoning (see Joh 19:14), no sooner had they raised Him on the cross than an unusual darkness fell upon the land, as if to express the divine displeasure at so great an evil happening under the sun as to cover its face from looking upon it; Mat 27:45.  Luke describes it using the word for an eclipse, but an ordinary eclipse is impossible during a full moon when the Passover took place, and other ancient writers from the same time also noted an extraordinary eclipse of the sun, unlike any other, associated with a great earthquake, which Scripture also records; cf. Mat 27:51,54.  Considering the extraordinary light in the heavens that marked His birth, we should not be surprised at an extraordinary darkness that marked His death.  That darkness foreshadowed the blackness of darkness that would envelop the unbelieving Jews whose sun had gone down at spiritual noon for rejecting their Messiah, for which they were cast out of God’s kingdom into the outer darkness (Mat 8:12, Jud 1:13).  But for Jesus, and before long His followers, who had faith to see through the darkness of death to its end, it portended the breaking forth of a great light of salvation that would not only illumine their darkness, but that would make the darkness of death into the light of eternal life; cf. Mat 16:24-25, Joh 12:24-26.

The synoptic gospels, though full of much detail otherwise, record nothing as happening during the three hours of darkness, from which we surmise that during this time Jesus silently endured His sufferings.  However, writing much later, what one thing did John record that would have happened during this time?  See Joh 19:25-27.  What is the significance that the one last thing recorded in Scripture that Jesus did in settling up his affairs in this life before He died, at a time when He was otherwise enduring His suffering in silence, was to see that His mother was provided for?  See also 1Sa 22:3 for His father David’s example.  What does this teach us about the importance of the fifth commandment and how in particular we are to honor our mother and father?  Cf. Mar 7:9-13, 1Ti 5:3-4,8.  In spite of Jesus’ great mission to bring salvation to the world even to the point of suffering upon the cross, and having been stripped of all His worldly possessions that became booty for the quaternion of soldiers assigned to crucify Him, what does His example teach us about the seriousness with which He understood the commandment to honor one’s father and mother?  Should we understand it any less seriously?

What pain and anguish must Mary have felt to see her son not only bruised and bleeding but suffering a lingering, torturous death?  See note[1].  What was the prophetic significance of Mary’s own suffering there at the cross?  See Luk 2:35.  Was that the first anguish Mary had experienced in regard to her son Jesus, or in fact just the culmination of a life of suffering she had experienced?  See Mat 1:19, 2:13-14,16-18,22, Luk 2:4-7,41-48, 4:21-29, Mar 3:20-21,31-35, Joh 7:5.  After the angel Gabriel had appeared to her and as she rejoiced in the regard God had for her as a humble servant (Luk 1:46-49), was she likely aware of all the sufferings that lie ahead in the valley separating her from the eternal blessings and glory she would come to possess for being called to bear the Savior of the world?  Do we likewise understand the sufferings that often precede the eternal blessings and glory we anticipate for being called to be a part of Christ’s kingdom?  Cf. Mat 16:24, Joh 12:24-26, 1Pe 2:19-23, 4:12-14.  In what way then were the blessings and future glory that Mary anticipated, but the sufferings that preceded them, not unlike those in which the Spirit of Christ led her son, and all who would follow Him?  Cf. 1Pe 1:11.  Should we be surprised that God chose such a woman to bear the Savior of the world, Who, through that Spirit, would show us the way to eternal life through suffering and death?  In what way does Mary’s example also reflect the anticipated blessing and glory, but sufferings that preceded them, of the Jewish nation, which also in a real sense gave birth to the Christ?  Cf. Rom 1:16, 9:1-5.  Consider the unbelieving Jews who rejected the way of the cross in favor of a more worldly Messiah who would save them from their sufferings under the Romans; what warning does their example give modern Christians who are similarly tempted to seek a more worldly salvation that is less costly to their flesh?  Cf. Rom 11:21.  What simple faith must Mary have had to answer the angel as she did in Luk 1:38?  Have we the same simple faith to trust God’s promises for blessing and glory, though they lead us through dark valleys?

[1] His torments were her tortures; she was upon the rack, while he was upon the cross; and her heart bled with his wounds; and the reproaches wherewith they reproached him fell on those that attended him.  Matthew Henry.