"All who heard the shepherd's story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her her heart and thought about them often." Luke 2:18-19 NLT
I am really honored to work at a church. I know not everyone feels called to ministry, but I have for years. While I realize I am not "Ministerial Staff", I am "Support Staff", and that's just fine with me. I LOVE my job and I am thankful for times like this week because we are having Holy Week services.
Monday, Bruce, the Pastor of Outreach and Operations brought a message and showed a video. Some of the scenes in the video were from The Passion of The Christ movie. I will be honest. I only watched that movie once. I couldn't bear to watch it again.
What really jumped out at me was Mary, Jesus' mom. Have you ever thought about what she went through when they killed Jesus?
Here is the woman, who as a teenager was told by an angel that she would have the Messiah, now, watching that child be beaten and nailed to a cross.
The Scripture I above says she "kept these things in her heart and thought of them often." Some translations say she "Pondered them in her heart."
When she gave birth, think back to the year before. She was engaged to Joseph, and probably getting ready for her wedding. Then God interrupted her life in a big way, telling her she was going to give birth. "But I've never "known" a man," Mary said to the angel.
Can you imagine the gossip and talk around town about her? They thought she had cheated on Joseph. Joseph even thought she cheated on him and was going to break it off with her until an angel told him it was ok to marry her.
So, Mary goes through all of these things during her pregnancy, and ends up giving birth in a stable and putting her baby in a wooden box that animals eat out of. I'm sure that's not how she imagined it would be.
Then, 33 years later, after watching Him do many signs and wonders, she watches Roman soldiers rip up His flesh, call Him names, gamble over His clothes, and nail Him to a cross.
For our sins.
Jesus took our punishment, because we are told that the wages of sin is death. He died so we don't have to.
I pray that you will take some time today to see not only Jesus' sacrifice, but think of what His mom went through.