Lent Devotional | Good Friday

Hope in Sorrow

“Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.” John 19:25 NIV

Mary’s anguish must have been unbearable, knowing that the son she so dearly loved, had to die for the sins of the world. Outliving our children is every parent’s worst nightmare. But just as she had submitted to God’s will when she discovered she was pregnant with Jesus, she surrendered again. She grieved for her son, but also knew that his ultimate sacrifice was for humanity and perhaps that’s something for us to mull over as parents and children.

In John 19:25, the phrase that stands out most to me is, “near the cross of Jesus stood his mother”. Mary stood. How could she stand and watch such terrible violence being done to her own child? How did she find peace with what was to come? How did she maintain hope? So much of her life and her role as a parent seemed beyond her control.

When working in the field in South Asia, rescuing people out of forced labour slavery, my team and I faced dangerous and dire situations time and again. I learned that the only way for peace to reign in those situations (and in any situation really), is to be totally dependent on the One who gives us strength and peace. Although it may be hard to believe, Jesus cares about the difficulties that affect you, your family and your community. He cares about them all – big and small. Mary found solace in God’s promises, not only to her, but to all mankind.

Our peace need not depend on the conditions of our situations, but on the fact that God is in control. Philippians 4:13 encourages us that, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” When we do not have the answer, God does. When we can no longer stand on our own, He carries us. When the darkness seems all consuming, let the light of Christ shine brightly, illuminating the hope that only He can bring.

Anu George

Anu George Canjanathoppil

CEO, International Justice Mission Canada


Lord Jesus, help me to hold on to the promise of peace that you provide to each of us as we place our faith in your ultimate purpose and plan. Give me strength to continue to stand even when I feel weak and grant me purpose as I keep my eyes on you, trusting your sovereign love for me. 

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