THE PIETA By MICHELANGELO
She was just a simple girl – nothing special – not without sin – like us, yet God chose her to be the vessel which would carry the Son of God for nine months in her womb and hold His dead body thirty three years later. Born in unusual circumstances, but necessary, so that He could become one of us.
Mary undoubtedly noticed every detail about her baby boy after his birth. She probably counted His fingers and toes, as most moms do. She would check Him often to make sure He was breathing. This tiny child seemed so helpless, yet was all powerful. He cried when He was hungry, had to have His diapers changed, needed the presence of His mother to soothe his hurts and cuddle Him close to her breast.
As her boy grew, she watched Him at play – warned Him of danger – made sure He ate right – disciplined(?) I doubt she would’ve had to scold Him, but certainly she would guide and teach Him in His early years. Can you imagine being the mother of the perfect child or having a half brother who never sinned?
Mary accepted God’s plan for her life completely by faith. None of this made sense to her from a human standpoint. She knew that God was placing this honor on her, yet she accepted it in complete humility. She remembered the words of the prophets that Messiah would be born of the lineage of David. Both she and her espoused husband were from that royal line.
I think of how concerned she must’ve been when realizing that her twelve year old Son had stayed behind in Jerusalem when they journeyed there for Passover. What was going through her mind? When she realized that He was teaching in the temple, she must’ve been reminded of His true purpose in life.
Then there was the wedding feast, when she knew that Jesus would do a miracle, but He resisted, since He had not yet begun His work. He did the miracle and changed water into wine – exceptional wine.
During His ministry, she followed along with His band of brothers and some other women. His words held so much authority. She knew that He was from God – that He was God incarnate. She listened, she prayed with Him, watched as He healed troubled minds and bodies, brought life to the dead. She hung on every word and deed.
As His brutalized body walked through the city, carrying his means of execution, her heart was breaking. There was nothing she could do to help Him. She was always able to fix things when He was a child, but now . . . .
She watched Him writhe in pain as the nails were pounded into hands and feet. She could feel the pain of the thorn encrusted crown that was pressed into His precious head. She endured the mockery of the crowd along with her dying boy. John held her tightly as Jesus asked Him to care for His mother. And then He died.
Was this the end? How could she make any sense of it? Her child was destined to rescue her people and now He was dead. Tears could no longer fall. She had cried every one of them away, Her own body was weak, but she held the smitten Savior in her arms as she did when He was just a babe. His limp body rested upon her lap for just a brief moment, until it was carried away to be buried in the tomb of a rich man.
Imagine her joy on that Sunday morning of the resurrection. Seeing Him again in a restored body – with no lash scars or dried blood from the crude crown. He was alive and because of this, she knew she would live also in eternity, as each and every one of us will. His work was accomplished. He came to save the lost and He rescued the world from sin.