This past week, in preparation for Easter, I’ve heard many people talk about the story of Christ’s crucifixion (found in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19).
I’ve often wondered how his mother, Mary, felt, standing there and watching her son, her blessed gift from God, die. And not just die. I’m sure that Mary knew more than a lot of the people there.
I think she knew some of what was happening : He was taking on the sins of the whole world, and would be rejected by God the Father in that time between the Cross and His triumphant return from death.
In John it says, “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.” (John 19: 25-27).
Mary had only been a young girl, and engaged, when she received the angel’s visit telling her she would be pregnant with God’s son. An impossible, and shameful, thing for a virgin girl who was engaged to someone.
Yet Mary’s faith didn’t waver. She responded that she was God’s handmaid, and His Will be upon her.
She raised Jesus, knew He was special, knew God had plans for Him. So how did she feel when He was dying for the whole world, and suffering?
I think that even though her heart was breaking, even though she was full of pain, the same calm reassurance and acceptance of God’s will guided her life, and filled her with a peace–the unnatural all-encompassing peace of God.
But the story is hardly over with Christ’s death. For it was three days later, in the morning, that the women (different Marys, and a couple other women apparently) prepared to finish the body with spices and ointments.
Jesus was buried in a sepulchre, and there was a huge stone rolled in the doorway.
The women were already on their way when they started wondering, “Who will move the stone for us?”. But they didn’t have to worry about it.
When they got there, the stone was moved, and an angel sat on it. He told them the news that Jesus had risen, alive, and triumphed over death and sin. The women could hardly wait to tell the others.
What about Mary then?
It talks in the beginning of Acts how Jesus was taken back up to heaven, in glory, to His rightful place.
I think she was glad, to put it mildly. I think she was overjoyed, I think that she had a special life. She had a special view of heaven and God that no one else had. God directly affected the most feeling and discerning part of her life–her heart, and her heart was open to Him.
While we most likely won’t get as direct a relationship with God as Mary, let us all purpose to open our hearts to Him and let His peace and will govern in our lives.
God does not use the people who are most qualified as far as talent, money, or circumstances, but the people who are humble, the people who want Him to rule supreme in their life, the people who are willing.
Have a blessed Resurrection Easter!