This is the time of year when we focus on Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection. It is fitting and appropriate as the resurrection is the hall mark of our faith as Christians. While I was meditating during this Holy week I began to think about Mary and her journey from the cradle to the cross. In the gospel of Matthew the angel tells Joseph he is to give the name Jesus to the son that Mary will bear because "He will save His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21) Of course Joseph shared this news with the expectant Mary but I wonder did they understand what the angel told them? Notice the angel did not say that Jesus would save His people from the Romans which is what the Jews were waiting for with the coming of the Messiah. Mary obviously knew that Jesus birth was something beyond the ordinary with the visitation and announcement to her as recorded in the gospel of Luke 1:26-38. And at Jesus baptism, I wonder was Mary there to hear John the Baptist repeat the angel's words, "Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." (John 1:29) From fleeing Herod's attempt to kill her son (Matthew 2:13-18) to the beginning of His public ministry (Matthew 4:12-17) we experience the highs and lows that Mary faced as Jesus life unfolded before the world. If Mary had the ability to journal about the events taking place, I wonder what she would have written? Perhaps she would have talked about the unbelievable experience of the angels declaration. I can imagine her documenting the pregnancy and the feeling of growing ever closer and more connected to the child in her womb. Maybe at times she paused and was overwhelmed with the reality that this child was the son of God. She may have even asked the question, why me? She may have written about all the unusual experiences and interesting people that entered their lives after Jesus birth including the shepherds (Luke 2:8-20), the blessings of Anna and Simeon at the temple (Luke 2:21-40), the visit of the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12) and the amazing wisdom of Jesus at a young age. (Luke 2:41-52) As Jesus began to teach and preach, her journal entries may have focused on the reaction of the crowds to His words. Mary may have felt a sense of awe at the miracles He performed and deep love for the compassion Jesus had for the outcasts of society. However, did she somewhere in her heart and mind replay the words of the angel, "He will save His people from their sins." When the Pharisees and religious authorities began to demonstrate their anger towards Jesus, did Mary begin to have a sense of what the angel meant? Is that the reason she and Jesus siblings went to talk to Him? (Matthew 12:46-50) Would her journal entries begin to reflect a sense of fear and anxiety? After Jesus returned to Jerusalem and the events of Holy week began to take place, what thoughts crossed Mary's mind? Did she write about the hope in her heart after Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem? (Matthew 21:1-11) Did that hope quickly vanish as Jesus cleared the temple (Mark 11:15-18) further stirring up the aggravation of the religious leaders?And when He was finally arrested (Matthew 26:47-27:26) and Mary received the news could she even have put pen to paper because of the heaviness of her heart? As she looked into what was left of the face of her dying Son (John 19:17-30) did Mary finally begin to understand the reality of the angel's words? I believe, like the disciples, Mary did not fully realize what Jesus had accomplished until after His resurrection. No journal entry could have been more powerful than the knowledge that Jesus was alive. The magnitude of what Mary had lived through from Jesus birth to His death and resurrection is beyond comprehension for any human being let alone the woman who was obedient enough to say, "I am the Lord's servant, may it be to me as you have said." (Luke 1:38) As we ponder the Easter story and celebrate His resurrection, I pray we will once again stand amazed at God's gift of love to the world. May you experience a blessed Easter!
HE IS RISEN!