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Jesus’ suffering and death, Mary’s pain

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RELIGION - Jesus Christ on the cross. This stock image has a horizontal composition and a stormy background.

By Patricia Ron

Just the imagination of the fact that death brings a permanent separation among loved ones is petrifying.

No one would ever want to watch their loved one go through a life-costing scenario, and yet it is beyond their power to avoid death.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, went through this unfathomable experience of watching her first and divinely born son go through torture and torment at the hands of angry Jewish soldiers.

She sank her knees, and her agony was too deep for words. I can imagine Jesus’ outcry was still echoing in her ears as He died after hours of torment.

The sky had gone dark at midday, now the Earth shook violently and the veil in the Temple tore in to two from top to the bottom (Matthew 27:45-51).

It might have seemed to Mary that God Himself was letting the world know that He, more than anyone else, was deeply hurt by the death of Jesus Christ.

The pain
Mary must have had a collection of memories from years earlier when she and her dear husband Joseph had just presented their precious baby at the Temple in Jerusalem, where the aged Simeon was inspired to utter a prophecy.

He foretold great things about Jesus, but he added that one day Mary would come to feel as if she were run through by a long sword.

“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” (Luke2:34-35).

At the tragic hour of pain, Mary fully grasped the truth of these words.

Death of one’s own child is the most painful loss that a human can face.

Death is a terrible enemy, and it wounds all of us in one way or another.

No one would ever want to watch their loved one go through Jesus’ experience. (Photo/Eric D Snider)

Is it possible to survive such wounds? As we consider Mary’s life from the start of Jesus’ ministry to the time of His death and just beyond, we will learn much about the faith that helped Mary to survive the swords of grief.

She perhaps trusted that this was God’s will, but presently it is hard to understand if it is God’s will for a mother to watch her child suffer and die.

This experience leaves many shuttered and questioning God’s existence instead.

For Mary and her household, Jesus’ absence would mean an upheaval of the sort, because it seems likely that Mary’s husband, Joseph, had already died. If so, then Mary was no stranger to loss.

Jesus was now called not only the carpenter’s son, but also the “Carpenter”.

Eventually, Jesus had taken over His father’s business and had assumed the role of provider for the family, which included at least six children who were born after Him.

From this stand point, the departure of the eldest son would not be easy on the family. Mary already bore a heavy load; did she dread this transition?

We can only guess, but one other heavier question we could ask is how would she respond when Jesus of Nazareth became Jesus Christ, the long- promised Messiah?

Jesus went to John to get baptized, then became God’s Anointed One, the Messiah (Luke 3:21-22), then He begun to select His disciples.
His work was urgent, but still took time for happy occasions with His family and friends.

Along with mother, His disciples and fleshly brothers, He went to a wedding feast at Cana, where He performed the first miracle, turning water into wine.

Because of this, His disciples and mother put their faith in Him.

Mary looked at Him not just as her son, but as her Lord and savior (John 2: 1-12).

Much as Mary knew Jesus was a mysterious son, she still could not bear it while He suffered.

She had to stay with Him during all this time. On the other hand, parents today can learn much form Mary’s faith.

Much as you may not be raising a child quite like Jesus, the transition may present challenges and a parent might tend to continue treating a son or a daughter as a young child, though such treatment may no longer be appropriate.

Mary had to let Him go and trust that her Son had His own purpose to fulfil.

Just like any parent would desire, Mary hoped her son would live longer and experience life, both divine and human with her.

At 33 years, a man has developed and assuming adulthood roles, their departure leaves a gap among family.
Nevertheless, Jesus’ death was to set us free, we thank God.

Happy Easter!

The writer is a pastor at Miracle World Ministries, Mukono.
0759311103/0773609792
Gmail: favouredpatricia@gmail.com

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