Mary always knew this day would come, but she was still unprepared for it. How could anyone prepare for this? It was insanity. The vacillating crowd followed him with cheers of acclamation one day, and the next, they cursed him with the violent shouts of the damned.
She stood at the edge of the crowd staring in disbelief at the three bodies. It was senseless! Why did it happen? Indeed, the two on the outside deserved this. After all, they were thieves; but Jesus did nothing to warrant this punishment.
In the darkness, Mary laid her weary bones on her mat as her mind traveled back over the past six months without him. So much has changed. His followers are in hiding most of the time. They come out boldly, preaching his message during the day, but they hide among the new converts at night.
Jesus made many enemies while he was here. In death, he had attracted more. The stories and the lies they concocted to explain his being seen by the multitudes afterward were just the beginning.
A slight smile tugged at the corner of her mouth as she remembered her little boy running across the square to tell her of his latest revelation. He was so young and yet had so much wisdom. God revealed many secrets to this child He had entrusted into her care. Ruffling his curls, Mary studied the dark eyes that danced with such merriment. His smile never changed. She could see that same smile the last time they were together. He still looked like the little boy who was so eager to share God’s truth with her.
As Mary lay on her mat, her mind was pulled in many directions. Part of her struggled with indescribable grief. Losing Jesus was the hardest thing she had experienced since losing her beloved Joseph so many years earlier. Another part of her rejoiced in the knowledge that Jesus would never be hurt again. Through his death, he had won his battle, both for himself and for all who followed him.
The hardest part of all of this was accepting that he was no longer her son; he was now her Savior. He was no longer that little boy with curls. Nor was he that young man who came to her so often for counsel. He had fulfilled His Father’s plan for his life and now sits at His right hand.
Mary lay in the darkness, remembering her long battle. She reflected on the day that an angel told her that she would bear God’s child. He entrusted His plans into her care. She was so overwhelmed that God would choose her for such responsibility and honor. She had loved Jesus, protected him, taught him, and guided him for most of her life. She had to remind herself often that he was not really hers. He belongs to humanity. He came with a purpose, and death was part of the plan.
Now she understood the price God paid when He placed Jesus into her womb, how it must have broken His heart to let him go. Their relationship changed, too. He no longer belonged to His Father alone. He now belonged to the world.
Dr. Sharon Schuetz has been a Christian since she and her husband, Pastor Michael Schuetz gave their hearts to God on November 15, 1978. They have ministered together since 1989 and together they have pastored seven different churches. Sharon was the senior pastor of their first church while Michael served as co-pastor. In the other churches, Michael served as senior pastor and Sharon his co-pastor.