She was standing, watching her Son, watching as He struggled with death. She heard Him commend her into the care of one of His followers with His dying breath. Had the world gone mad? What were they doing to her Son?
Her Son – the Child she had borne for nine long months. The Child she had labored so hard to bring into the world. The Child she had born shame and disgrace for – her Child was dying!
He was hanging on the cross, panting for His every breath as His very body collapsed upon itself, suffocating Him. Groaning in agony as the hot sun beat mercilessly down upon the wounds inflicted upon Him by the Roman whips – the lashes that had lacerated His skin, tearing it from His body. He had begun His struggle with death.
She heard Him asking His Father for forgiveness – not for Himself, but for the people who were inflicting such pain. Her heart felt as if it would tear in two – did they not know what they were doing? They were killing her Child – her Son, the Saviour of Israel! How her mother’s heart yearned for Him, to gather Him to her, hold Him closely, comfort, protect His precious life.
Her Son – her first born Child – the joy of her life. She remembered when He had been born, the joy and relief she had felt when He was placed in her arms for the first time, when she had first held the very Son of God closely to her – the Mighty One yearned after for such a very long time. She remembered His precious scent – that of an innocent newborn baby. The only place they had to lay the King of Glory was in a cattle manger, and the smell of clean hay mixed sweetly with the smell of baby.
She remembered her fear when, as a twelve year old lad, He had disappeared in the large crowd. The shame that she had lost Elohim’s Child, the Child entrusted to her especial care. The disgrace she felt then was even greater than what she had felt at being unwed and expecting a child. She remembered the relief she had felt when He was found, safe, speaking to the revered temple leaders. His gentle rebuke, that He would be about His Father’s business. Was this the business His Father – her God – had for Him, her Son?
Her thoughts were pierced by the mocking voices. Why couldn’t they leave her Son alone to die in peace? Since He had begun His ministry, her Son hadn’t had a moment of respite. Always crowds, voices, noise. Always someone clamoring after Him, wanting His power to heal a loved one, perform a miracle. Always someone questioning what He did. Why could no one just accept that He was Who He said – the Son of the Father on High? The Messiah? The Anointed One?
His voice jolted her from her thoughts. “Eli, eli, lama sabachthani!” “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”
God, forsaken Him? It wasn’t enough that His friends had turned against Him, that one of His disciples had denied Him, that the mass of humanity He had helped had turned away, by their cries and their silence helping to hang Him upon that tree – but God? His Father? The One He communed with most? Forsaken Him? What had happened to the plan she knew God the Father had for His Son – the Child she had raised?
The ground shook violently. The sky turned dark – the blackest black she could ever imagine. She heard someone proclaim Him – her Son – dead.
Dead. How final that word sounded! Dead. The end of the plan. Had she believed a lie? Could God still be trusted? Had she herself done something wrong? She felt a jolt of pain go through her heart.
She turned away, her body becoming numb, her mind not fully comprehending what had just happened. She placed her hand to her face and it came away wet…..wet with tears she didn’t know she had been crying.
Her Son – her first born Child – had died.
To be continued…...