Overheard: Mary Was a Mother . . .

The preacher said:

English: element of a stained glass window of ...

Element of a stained glass window of the 17th century, representing the crucifixion of Jesus, Church Saint-Etienne du Mont, Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother, “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” Luke 2:34-35

So went the prophecy spoken over Jesus and Mary when he was presented at the temple as a new-born. A sword would pierce her soul.

We see the Cross differently than Mary did. We see the punishment for our sin, the Lamb of God, atonement, salvation, and eternal life. We look back at the Crucifixion. We gloss over the agony of the Cross because we cannot imagine such horror. Mary saw it as it was happening. She saw her child suffering.

But it was happening before Mary’s horrified eyes: Her child’s blood running down, His labored gasps for air, nails piercing his hands and feet. And there was nothing she could do to help her child.

She saw her child publicly disgraced as He hung naked on the Cross. Crucifixion was intended to be humiliating and painful as a deterrent to crime. All the pride Mary felt for her son was now turned to disgrace in the public eye.

She saw the death of her hopes and dreams. This was the son who was to care for her in old age. This was the son who had achieved so much fame. Her hopes and dreams were great but now they were crushed. Her son was dying. She felt like dying, too.

At the Cross, a sword pierced Mary’s soul. While Jesus purposely suffered to redeem us, Mary was there unwillingly, weeping over the injustice, watching her son die a cruel death. The sword was piercing the heart of a mother’s love.

Jesus was dying for her sins as well, but He also knew what she was suffering. Therefore, as her son, He provided for her future on earth, as well as in Heaven, while He hung on the Cross.

When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. John 19:26-27

The cost of our salvation includes shame, suffering, and sacrifice. Willingly, Jesus walked into such a death for us, with a love greater than a mother’s.

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