Mary and Joseph lost track of their son, Jesus, a mere 12 year-old, on the way home from their temple visit in Jerusalem. Frantically searching for three days, they found him back in the temple in deep discourse with the rabbis. Quite distraught, they inquired why he had gone off on his own.
“…I must be about my Father’s business.” LUKE 2:49
While attending a wedding in Cana of Galilee, Jesus’ mother asked him to provide the guests with more wine, as the wine barrel had run dry.
“…mine hour is not yet come.” JOHN 2:4
Many years later, a Passover meal has been shared in an upper room between Jesus and his disciples. Women possibly were present to facilitate the meal, including his mother. She had perhaps bid him “Shalom, my son” as he left the upper room, heading towards his destiny that awaited him that night in the garden of Gethsemane and later Golgotha.
Did she remember his words as a child? “…I must be about my Father’s business.” Did she know to some extent what might lie ahead for her son? “…MINE HOUR IS NOT YET COME.” Is this his hour? Mary’s heart and spirit must have shuddered as she trudged home that evening.
A few hours later Jesus was standing before the high priest, arrested after being betrayed by Judas. His hour had come. LUKE 22:15-22, JOHN 18:1-14
Agonizing hours later, amongst the crowds, Mary catches a glimpse of a man struggling to carry a wooden beam that is strapped to his shoulders. This is surely a criminal off to his death on the hill called Golgotha. Surely.
No…wait! THAT IS MY SON!
He is drenched with blood and sweat, glistening in the hot sun as it streaks down his brow, the remainder of his body one dark red mass. She frantically pushes and shoves those that separate them, but he is still far off. The din from the masses is deafening.
“Crucify him! Crucify him!” “We want Barabbas!”
Breathless and exhausted, Mary scrambles up the hill to the cross that holds her son with a mere 3 nails. Grabbing the cross to catch her balance, she looks up, trying to make eye contact with her son, one last time. HIS HOUR HAS COME!
The brutal leather-thronged whip has done its god-forsaken work on his head, shoulders and back. A torn mass of bleeding arteries and shredded muscles hang limply from that rugged cross. “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother…” JOHN 19:25
The trial was over, the long excruciating walk to Golgotha concluded, the torture of an innocent man, the Son of God, was almost finished. The King of the Jews had been dethroned. Naked, stripped of all his glory and lifted up for all to see, Jesus looked down, searching. Through blood streaked eyes and excruciating pain, he saw his mother standing by. “When Jesus therefore saw his mother…” JOHN 19:26
For a few moments close your eyes and envision this event: a dying son gasping for a glimpse of his mother…a mother in tears and overwhelming heartbreak, peering through the snarled, bloodied hair of her son, trying desperately to make eye contact. And then….