Friday, March 29, 2013

A Sword Shall Pierce Your Soul

Today we remember one of the darkest days of human history. As we think about the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus, we often focus (rightly so) on the agony He felt when He experienced not only the physical suffering, but also the intense spiritual pain of complete separation from His Father.

However, I want to take a moment to reflect on what His mother went through on that day. Thirty-three years earlier she had taken her infant son to the temple as prescribed by Jewish law. There a man named Simeon took Jesus in his arms and spoke the following words:
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
    you may now dismiss[d] your servant in peace.
 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
     which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and the glory of your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)
Then he spoke directly to Mary as he said:
Medieval art depicts His grieving mother at the cross.
“This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”  (Luke 2:34-35)

As Mary stood by the cross grieving over the horrible death her son was experiencing, she surely must have felt as if a sword was indeed cutting right through her. I wonder if she remembered those words that Simeon had spoken so long ago. As she looked up at the dying Savior did she see the baby she had nursed, the little boy she had cuddled, the child she had lovingly taught?

No mother wants to see her child suffer, and as parents, we feel that we shouldn't outlive our children. Nevertheless, in those last moments of his earthly life, Jesus took a moment to make sure that his precious mother would be cared for by his dear friend, John. What an incredible bond between mother and son!

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