Just before the Lord was betrayed into wicked hands to be crucified, we read in Matthew 26:31 of the Lord speaking to His disciples, “Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.”  The Lord quoted Zechariah 13:7 and referenced it to Himself.  That says, “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.” 

The Apostle Peter hastily disagreed with the Lord’s assessment of their future actions.  Matthew 26:33-35 says, “Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.”  We know that Peter did indeed deny the Lord three times that night. 

Let’s read John 19:25-27, “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.”  We see there were some of the Lord’s followers there at His crucifixion, yet we do not read of any of His Apostles being there, except in this portion.  We read here of “the disciple standing by, whom he loved.”  Who was this faithful disciple?  It is largely agreed upon that this is John the Apostle.  Throughout the Gospel account that he wrote, John never mentions his own name.  He refers to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved, or “the disciple whom He loved” five times in the Gospel of John: John 13:23, 19:26, 20:2, 21:7, and 21:20.  I believe we can readily say that the Apostle John was with the Lord during His crucifixion.  We do not read of anymore of the apostles being there. 

When the resurrected Lord first appeared unto His disciples, the Apostle Thomas was not present.  (John 20:19-24).  When the other disciples told Thomas they had seen the resurrected savior, Thomas replied, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25).  Perhaps this indicates that Thomas was also at the crucifixion because he knew about the sword that had pierced the Lord’s side. 

We should add that there were unnamed followers of the Lord who were present at His crucifixion.  Besides the ones we’ve already noticed, we read in Luke 23:26-27, “And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus. And THERE FOLLOWED HIM A GREAT COMPANY OF PEOPLE, AND OF WOMEN, which also bewailed and lamented him.”  Possibly out of fear, we see that these people watched the Lord’s crucifixion from a distance.  Luke 23:49 tells us, “And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.” 

There was someone else who was NOT at the crucifixion.  Matthew 27:46 says, “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”  While on the cross, suffering for the sins of sinful people, God forsook His dear Son.  Why did He do this, especially knowing that the Lord Jesus was on the cross as an act of obedience to His Father’s will?  While on the cross, the Lord Jesus “…His own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree…” (1 Peter 2:24).  We read of God in Habakkuk 1:13, “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity…”  With our sins upon the Lord Jesus, God, who is holy, turned His back on the Lord Jesus and left Him there to suffer God’s wrath for our sins.  What a righteous God we serve!  What a loving savior we have!  (408.4)