The Passion of the Christ
On Easter night, my husband, sons and I gathered around the television and watched “The Passion of Christ” together. I’d seen the movie once before but covered my eyes through most of it.
This time around, I made myself watch the entire thing – it was very difficult to do. I decided that if Jesus could go through it all for me then the least I could do was make myself watch what it was he actually did. Of course, what they were able to show in the movie didn’t come close to how horrible it actually was, but it was still extremely powerful.
When I go back and re-watch a movie or read a book again, I pick up on different aspects that I might not have necessarily paid as much attention to the first time around. During the second watching of “The Passion of the Christ”, I picked up on something totally different than the first time I watched it. This time, instead of just paying close attention to everything that Jesus endured, I watched his mother, Mary.
Jesus knew what to expect.
He understood what he would be going through. He was in fact, God as man. He had a certain amount of understanding as to the event and how important it was. It was obviously hard to be Christ and to suffer the pain – I’m not diminishing that in any. His suffering was still immense and unimaginable.
I would also assume that his mother had a better than average understanding of what might be taking place. She knew her son was THE child of God. She knew he was sent with a purpose. But is there any way that she could have prepared herself to see what she did? Would you have been able to do the same?
And it isn’t just that he gave his life – it’s the brutal way in which he had to give it. Mary was forced to stand by and watch her son be brutalized.
Mary heard each and every cry.
She heard every horrible name he was called. She saw every piece of flesh that was ripped off of his body and she cleaned up much of his blood that was left lying in a pool.
She then watched as he walked through the streets and people threw rocks at him. She watched as people spit on him. She watched as he fell to earth time and time again under the weight of the cross that he was forced to carry.
She then watched as they drove nails through his wrists and feet. She watched as they hoisted him into position and then she was forced to watch as he hung – until he finally gave his life over.
As a recipient of all those gifts, it was hard for me to watch – as a mother, it would have been impossible.
While Jesus is our Messiah and we view him as such…
Jesus was also Mary’s child.
As an infant she held him. She introduced him to solid foods; anxiously awaited his first smile; watched him take his first step; listened to him babble; cleaned up after him; cooked his meals; taught him the ways of the world; watched him grow.
He was her child. She watched her child suffer that day. I can’t imagine being able to do the same.
Being a mother of three children, I don’t know that I’d be willing to give up my child for the rest of the world. I’m just being honest – sorry if that offends you.
Knowing how little any of us actually deserve what Jesus did, I would have a very hard time accepting that it was my child that would have to give his life for everyone else (that’s obviously one of the gazillion reasons I wasn’t chosen to give birth to the son of God). I don’t know that I could have done it – I’m selfish that way.
I guess Mary understood that while Jesus was her child – first and foremost he was God’s. Maybe she realized that God had blessed her with this child for only a short period of time, and then when the time came, she would have to give him up.
She gave him up willingly for the greater good of the history of the world. Could you have done the same?
I’m so grateful that she… and Jesus, did what I would never to be able to do myself.