When she saw the angel, she was troubled at his words. She thought about what had been said. The angel said to her, “Mary, do not be afraid. You have found favor with God. See! You are to become a mother and have a Son. You are to give Him the name Jesus. He will be great. He will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the place where His early father David sat. He will be King over the family of Jacob forever and His nation will have no end. Luke 1:29-33
A mother isn't supposed to feel this kind of pain. Like a searing knife tearing at her womb, the agony consumes her. She wishes it was her hanging there, not the broken body of her beloved Son. The Son who brought her such joy. The Boy-child who was impressed in her by the Holy Spirit.
It was a rocky beginning. The finger pointing. The accusations but she and Joseph got through because they understood fragments of what lay behind the gossamer veil of death. God had spoken The Angels had breathed hushed, assuring words in both their hearts—so they knew.
But the cross? The place of the skull.
The Angel had said their beloved Son would sit in the place where His early father, David, sat. He would be King over the family of Jacob. Would that not mean a changed world where the Gift of her Son would reign forevermore? Pure Love would cleanse the world.
But there are only nails. Broken bones. A crown of thorns. Insult after insult.
The blood trickles marring her son’s olive skin and she weeps some more. Is this what God promised? Was it a failed experiment? Did God now regret the plan? Heaven was silent.
“IT IS FINISHED.”
At that moment, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split. Matthew 27:51
The mother’s heart grieves. Vomit rises as she falls prostrate begging for relief.
A touch on the shoulder—from the one her Son loved. Instructed to care. Her tears bog her in the soggy mire. The one He instructed to care scoops up the soul-crushed woman. She clings to her new son.
She feels a heart beating the message as he carries her homeward. His heart whispers for her to wait ... and all will be revealed.
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Matthew 16:21
The third day. Is coming …
I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Part way through the Lenten season. I lay prostrate on my own bed. A mother. Learning to trust. Knowing it wasn’t a mistake because—the Third Day is coming.
My tears are for my children. I see their pain. My tears are for the world. I hear the horror. My tears are for Christ. Mothers want to fix things. But I learn. The foot of the Cross. I sit. I place my tears.
The breath of death ushering in New Life.
The Third Day approaches …