My Suffering My Son

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What a treat to share this guest post from my prayer sister, Jane Bromley. Originally written as her own personal journal entry, she shared it with our little group as we ponder together the depth of our Easter celebration. I was so moved that I asked to share it with you. Thank you, Jane.


The last several hours have drained You physically and emotionally, my Son. Thorns and lashes compare little to the excruciating pain that screams from Your hands and feet. It’s so hard for a mother to see the weight of Your own body tear at Your flesh.


That flesh — once so soft. Baby soft. The skin I held so close after my unexplainable teen pregnancy, an uncomfortable ride to Bethlehem, an inadequate accommodation for birth.


I watch Your compassionate anguish increase as the men on either side of You cry out in pain. It’s all You can do to endure Your own agony. And yet, You care for their torment as well. How can You, my Son, be in the company of criminals?


Your first company were shepherds. Surrounded by the wonderful, otherworldly sound of hundreds of angels singing.


And that star!


As I blink away my tears, I remember that the little cottage in Nazareth. The unexpected visit from royalty (or were they just wealthy?) from far, far away. That wicked king and our quick getaway to Egypt. News of a horrible massacre that we only escaped narrowly because of Your earthly daddy’s dream. Joseph — he was a good husband and father.


I was glad when we were able to take You back home to family in Nazareth and our little carpentry shop. You were such a cute toddler — a perfect Child in every way —obedient, studious, loving, happy. Unusually and remarkably devoted to the things of God.


How could I forget that trip to Jerusalem’s Passover when we were separated for days? You were only twelve, but I came to see how capable and mature You were for Your age. The teachers in the temple were awestruck by Your wisdom.


You knew how to have fun too. Your playmates and siblings loved You because You were so unselfish, and at the same time despised You for not taking part in their deceitfulness and mischief. Your teenage years — a mixture of pride and joy as I watched You learn the family trade of carpentry. You were so creative! And so respectful of Joseph — never rebellious. Never lazy.


Yet, even then, sorrow was always in a secret corner of my heart. It would surface occasionally when something reminded me of the things I’d been told about You. I realized marriage and children and grandchildren would not be in our future as a normal mother and son.


Then came the sad day when You left home. You were 30. Thank You for staying with me such a long time. At that point, I knew things would never be the same. I loved the reports of miracles, healings, deliverance, and followers, but I grew more and more disturbed overhearing the Pharisees. I know their power, but I had no idea it would come to this. So soon. Has it only been three years?


When You were dedicated, Simeon said a sword would piece my heart. My dear Son, it has. I’d rather die myself than see You like this.


I expected a different life for You — respect from the priests, the scribes, the lawyers. But they hate You. You are too good for this world.


The angel said You are the Son of the Most High God. Then how could He allow this atrocity? What about the throne of David and ruling over the house of Jacob forever? O my God, how can this be?


Somehow, deep in my heart, I’d always thought everything would be okay. I’ve always believed what the angel said. But it all seems like a dream now.


Here You are, brutally beaten, humiliated and soon to die. No one knows better than me that You did not deserve this. I can’t bear to look at You. Your Aunt Mary and Your friend Mary are here with me, but we have no words of consolation for one another. This is the worst tragedy any mother should have to endure.


Perhaps it’s even harder because I know Who You really are.


O my Son.


O my Suffering.


O my Savior — my God.




But this wasn’t the end of Mary’s story. 


“Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave….’Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here. for He has risesn, just as He said'” (Matthew 28:1,5).


“And when the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James (Jesus’ brother?), and Salome, bought spices, that they might anoint Him….’Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, Who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here'” (Mark 16:1,6).