“Hello, I am the mother of a famous son, Jesus Christ. I am writing to tell you of my experience with the cross.” — Mary
My Life Before THE CROSS
Before I can go there, I need to give you some background. My life was very unremarkable until one day I had an encounter with an angel. On that day I learned not only would a virgin have a baby, but that God himself would be the father (Luke 1:34-35), and, the biggest shock for me, the angel said I was the virgin he was talking about. From that moment on my life was always tilted just a bit.
Pregnancy changes every woman, but this pregnancy made my mind spin. Don’t get me wrong, there were still “normal” days. But then something would happen—like Joseph, my fiancé at the time, would come and whisper about having an angel visit him in a dream (Matthew 1:20). In those moments it was like I was living in two dimensions at the same time: The dimension of the physical, the things you can touch, like trees and people, but simultaneously I was aware of the spiritual dimension, like angels and miracles. But what really ruined my logic was when the two universes collided and I had a real flesh and blood (Luke 2:6-7) miracle baby boy.
Luke said I pondered everything in my heart (Luke 2:19). This is probably as good a way as any to describe what was going on in my head. I was trying to find a reasonable explanation for shepherds showing up to worship my baby (Luke 2:16). It was not normal for an old man and a widow whom I have never seen before to prophesy about my baby at the temple (Luke 2:25-38). What do you say to your neighbors when men from a distant country come to your door with gifts for your toddler (Matthew 2:9-10)?
So for thirty-four years, the unusual had been happening. I don’t want you to think that miracles were commonplace, because there were years where life was uneventful. In fact, my other children were skeptical about the stories of the times before they were born (John 7:5).
My Experience with THE CROSS
Now for the subject at hand, the cross. When I first got word that Jesus was going to be crucified, I was frightened, but deep down I didn’t think it would happen. You see, people had been trying to kill Jesus since he was two years old (Matthew 2:16-18). Herod killed all the baby boys in Bethlehem, where we were living, but God protected His Son, Jesus. In that attack, my husband, Joseph was warned to leave immediately, in another dream (Matthew 2:13). Later, when Jesus was teaching by Solomon’s colonnade, the religious leaders tried to stone Him, but God protected Him from the danger (John 10:31,32,39).
I was there the time Jesus walked through a mob and they couldn’t touch Him. He was preaching in the synagogue in our hometown, Nazareth, when our very own neighbors got so upset with Him that they tried to force Him off a cliff (Luke 4:28-30).
I knew that the religious officials were really upset with Jesus, but I didn’t think God would let them kill His Son. I cannot describe the revulsion and horror I felt when I first saw how bad my Son had been beaten. If He had not been my very own Son, I can’t swear that I would have recognized him.
As hopeless as everything seemed once Jesus was on the CROSS, I still had faith that God would stop the execution. Until Jesus spoke to me, my mind could not process that my Son was going to die right before my eyes. It took such effort for Him to breathe, let alone speak, that it wasn’t surprising that He used such few words. It wasn’t until He told me that His friend John was going to care for me in my widowhood that I realized Jesus was really going to die (John 19:25-27). And die He did.
That gruesome Roman cross took my Jesus’ life, and if that had been all of the story I would not be writing you now. Even with everything that has happened since that Passover Friday, I still despise the memory.
Pain and nausea crash over me when I see ornaments shaped into a cross. I want to ask strangers, “Do you have any idea what it was like? Can you imagine the sky going dark (Luke 22:44-45), the earth quaking and bodies coming out of the graves?” (Matthew 27: 52-54) But I don’t ask.
My life since THE CROSS
No, I don’t tell people wearing crosses about The Cross. Because I tell them about what happened after. That is what I am writing to tell you, reader. My Son became my Savior, because His Father, my God, brought Him back from the grave (John 20:1-31). I knew there would be a miracle, I just didn’t realize how incredible the miracle would be. Not only is He “Victorious over Death” Jesus, but He is still alive! He proved there is more than this physical world. I am one of the five hundred who saw Jesus with the crucifixion scars (1 Corinthians 15:6). The spiritual dimension is at times more real to me now than the physical one.
My risen Savior died so I can spend eternity with God. Since He died for my sins, I am closer now to Him than I ever was before The Cross. Through the Holy Spirit we are in constant communion (John 14:26-27). Dear reader, you can also have this same continuous relationship with Him! (Matthew 28:20) This is something to write about!
- Have you, like Mary, thought that God would intervene in a situation and He didn’t? Did you feel confused, betrayed, or something different? Has your perspective changed or are you still hurting?
- If you have a story to tell, a prayer request, or an observation, please list it in the comments section.
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