I awoke that morning in Jerusalem many years ago. As usual, we had come on pilgrimage for the Passover. I knew that Jesus was also in Jerusalem and I feared for him. His name was on everyone’s lips, some proclaiming him as the Messiah and others saying that he was a fraud.
I knew that Jesus had no fears and also, that he was quite clever in concealing himself. He was safe among the crowds and safe among his apostles. However, I had difficulty calming my own heart. I feared those who, not knowing Jesus and his real mission, would try to use him for public demonstrations during the feast. These would make him king. I also feared the temple authorities, who worked closely with the Roman governor to be sure that no demonstration would break out.
That Friday Morning
As I awoke that morning in Jerusalem, I heard the news. They had acted. They had arrested Jesus. There had been a trial before the Sanhedrin and Jesus had been found guilty of blasphemy and condemned to death. However, these Jewish authorities had no power to put anyone to death. So, they handed him over to the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. Jesus had often told his apostles that he would be handed “over to the Gentiles”. Now, his words were fulfilled.
I went quickly to the center of Jerusalem. The crowds were gathered before Pilate’s praetorium. They brought Jesus out for all to see my Son, crowned with thorns and beaten, wearing his own garment with which I was so familiar.
Piercing Mary’s Heart
They were bargaining over him with Pilate trying to save him from death and the chief priests stirring up the crowd. “Crucify him. Crucify him”, they shouted. Really, they were crucifying me. I knew this moment would happen. I thought of the temple where Simeon first said the words, “Your own heart a sword shall pierce”. I thought of Jesus saying, “I must be in my Father’s house”. I thought of the rejection at Nazareth, when they tried to hurl Jesus over the hill.
The way of the cross began. I moved swiftly so I would not miss Jesus. Along the way, we came face to face. He could not speak. He could hardly see. “It is your mother”, I said. Then, he knew I was with him. “I will stay with you. I will be there with you. I will not leave you until all is accomplished”. Then, he moved on and I followed with the Beloved Disciple at my side.
The Perfect Victim
As we arrived at the place of execution, they stripped Jesus and nailed him to the cross. I stood there, offering my Son to his eternal Father. Formerly, the victims were calves and bulls, but these were not enough. Today, there would be a new sacrifice of the Father’s only Son. His blood will redeem the world.
I stood before Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, totally pleasing to the Father and able to redeem the whole world. Then, a new and special sorrow came upon my heart which I carry until this very day. Although all are redeemed in Jesus’ blood, many will not accept it. Some reject the gift. Others become enemies of the gift. Others do not even know about the gift. That is the sorrow that I carry even now.
Seek Your Redemption
And you, O reader, do you seek your redemption in Jesus’ blood? Do you know what this sacrifice can do for you? Do not hold back. Right now, accept Jesus as your Savior and Redeemer. He will break the power of your sins, bring you into light and place you on a new road.
As I stood at Jesus’ cross, I held you in my heart. You were there with me.
Comment: We see Good Friday through the thoughts and feelings of Mary.