TEXT: Matthew 27
CHARACTER: Mary the Mother of Jesus
I think that one of the most painful experiences in this world is to lose a child; this is especially so for a mother. The feeling cannot be described, it is beyond words just like bringing life into the world.
When the angel Gabriel came to me and gave me the news that I would carry and bear The Christ it was a great surprise and honor. The day Joseph and I took Him to the temple and Simeon prophesied about the kind of life my Son would live I knew it would not be business as usual. And when he said that “…a sword will pierce your own soul too” (Luke 2:35) I knew that the life of my son would not end too well.
Witnessing his unfair trial was heart wrenching, but thinking of the end – crucifixion – broke my heart. My Son, the Son of God, holy and blameless since birth was being subjected to this sham of a trial just to please the status quo. Looking around, all the while my eyes never left my Son, I wondered why? Why would these people suddenly turn around and exhibit such hatred and such hostility towards my Son? And why now? Which reminded me, exactly what happened to Judas? I thought he was one of my Son’s closest friends. I could not help but remember Simeon’s prophesy.
When Pilate’s wife sent word to him, I breathed a sigh of relief, hoping against all hopes that the obvious would be averted, but it was not to be. Pilate chose his political career over any conscience the plea from his wife might have awakened in him. And why did he have him flogged, why? The people had asked for crucifixion, did he have to flog him? I stood at a distance feeling every pain that went through his naked back, every flesh they stripped off him, they stripped off my back too. Every blood he shed felt like it came from my blood vessels too. The mental, emotional anguish almost crushed me. The inability to rescue my Child, the helplessness made me feel like I had betrayed my Child.
When He stood up from the flogging, He looked weak, yet strong. His eyes still shone with love even as He gazed at His tormentors and somehow peace filled my heart. I knew at that moment that all would be well.
The soldiers really chose to have fun at my Son’s expense. I turned away choosing not to watch them humiliate Him. Thank God for the other women who mourned with me, felt my pain and stood by me.
The walk to Golgotha is one that left me dazed. It seemed surreal, like a dream. The noise and hatred chants from the crowds were too loud, the wailing women, the scorning soldiers and my Son in the middle of it all carrying His cross up the hill. When He fell, I fell right beside Him. He was exhausted, torn within and without, the betrayal by His own must have hurt Him. The man from Cyrene was a welcome relief as he helped Him carry the cross the rest of the way.
At the top, the Roman soldiers seemed to be having their day; they seemed to enjoy driving the nails in His hands and feet. I wailed, I cried until no more tears nor voice could be seen or heard. Then I dazed and watched as they raised up His cross, everything else seemed to fade for me. Then once again, I saw His assuring, penetrating eyes and I once again knew it would end well. When He breathed His last, I sank down on my knees, that’s when I felt the earthquake.
When Joseph came and as we gently lowered down His body for burial, I remembered the gifts and spices the men from the East had brought – the Myrrh – it was prophetic. When we had laid Him in the tomb and it was covered and guarded with the big stone I lingered for a while. Then I went home to prepare for the Sabbath: still hoping against all hope that this was just a dream yet knowing beyond doubt that it wasn’t.