A soft rain fell, permeating the
area with an overwhelming melancholy atmosphere. Mary sat alone in
a dark room. Seemingly overnight, her hair had turned from a vibrant
brown to dull gray. Blessed with the gift of bearing and raising
God in the flesh, she would forever be remembered as the earthly mother
of Jesus, but that title did not come without a price. Mary had stood
in the front of the crowd that had watched Jesus tortured and, finally,
his earthly death.
The wife of a simple carpenter
and not in the highest social status, Mary had raised Jesus just as a Christian
mother should. He was always the perfect child. She had enjoyed
watching him grow up. She would kiss his hand when he fell
and scratched it, and she would nurse him when he was sick. Mary
praised her son when he brought home his very first accomplishment in carpentry.
It was a wooden bench that his father, Joseph, taught him to build.
She was with him through his childhood, and she wept when he went out into
the world. Now it seemed these fond childhood memories were all that
was left of the greatest man to ever walk the earth.
Suddenly Jesus collapsed.
The cross bore down on him, slamming his face into the hard-packed dirt.
When the roman soldiers' kicks failed to stir him, a man was grabbed from
the crowd and forced to bear the great burden. Jesus limped on.
He faced what he knew must happen with a strength only one man could ever
possess. As Mary watched in horror, she saw her little boy battered
and bleeding. All that was left of his back was muscle hanging down
from beared bone. The little flesh that remained was barely clinging
to his back, a swollen purple mass. Blood flowed freely from the
many open wounds. A crown of thorns was placed on his head, causing
blood to pour down his face and into his eyes. As he came closer
to Mary, she ran to embrace him, but she was thrown to the side by the
guards. She heard Jesus muttering something as he passed that sounded
like, "Father, forgive them."
As Mary watched the procession
continue, moments seemed like hours as they finally reached the spot of
the crucifixion. A wave of nausea swept over her as her son was thrown
onto the cross which lay on the ground. His arms and legs were tied
tightly to the rugged piece of wood. A soldier put a giant nail to
his hand and raised a large hammer high into the air. Mary saw Jesus
as a child, smiling up at her with his luminous eyes full of love.
Clang! The hammer came crashing down, and his scream was heard throughout
the hillside. Mary's eyes exploded with tears.
The second rusty nail was
placed and the hammer raised. Mary saw the young Jesus holding up
a wooden chair he and his father had made, smiling proudly. Clang!
The hammer struck true again, and the wailing scream of Jesus was matched
only by the screams of his mother.
The third nail was placed
at his feet and the hammer ascended for the final blow. Mary saw
the young Jesus run into the house nursing a cut and bleeding hand.
He cried and she kissed it for him, still hearing the words she had said
"Don't worry, my son.
I'll never let anything hurt you. . ." The hammer came down one final
time. The crowd cheered, yelling 'Crucify him! Crucify him!'
Jesus let out an unearthly scream, his pain unmatched by any other.
Mary tried to look away but couldn't. Her eyes were fixed on his
bleeding body, held by rusty nails to a rugged old piece of wood.
Her heart screamed, and she could no longer see through her tears, nor
did she want to see.
The cross was raised slowly,
Jesus' broken body on display for all to see. The multitudes let
out a cheer while it seemed Mary, the mother of Jesus and Jesus, the son
of God himself, were the only people not overjoyed. Two thieves were
raised beside the mighty Prince of Peace, their bodies nowhere near as
mangled as Jesus'.
The first of the men said
to him, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
Jesus replied, choking on
his own blood, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
The sky became dark and somber.
Ominous black clouds hovered over the entire scene and Jesus cried, "It
is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Mary screamed, her tears flooding her vision and nausea racked her body.
The son of God was gone from the world. He would no longer walk the
earth, bringing happiness and peace wherever he went. . . or would
On the first day of the next
week, three women that were close to Jesus were walking to leave gifts
at the tomb. When they arrived, they found an angel that told them
that He had risen. Jesus appeared to them and to the disciples and
to many other people before he ascended to heaven to take his rightful
place at the right hand of God. There was, of course, a point to
this suffering, death, and finally, the resurrection.
Jesus willingly sacrificed
himself so that, through him, we could have forgiveness. He loves
us all and wants us to be with him for eternity, but we must first accept
him. Only then can we feel true joy and forgiveness.