Her heart flutters as doubt fills her brain. Reeling from news and import of her calling, she kneels on the dirt floor. Her hands… they grip her knees, willing herself to understand what she was about to embark upon. A child. Not just a child. THE child. THE Messiah. THE one she had hoped for. And SHE was the chosen one. Tears trickle down her cheeks. Unclenching her knee, she places a hand upon her taught, smooth abdomen. Laughter erupts from her, from deep within her soul. A song emerges from her depths and plays itself on her lips….
Just imagine. Imagine being a 15 year old girl, newly engaged to a man… planning a wedding, a life, and dreaming of what would be. Then it all swirls into oblivion in a matter of moments. An angel arrives at the door, invites himself in, and interjects “Hello, favored one!” He then informs Mary that she is not only favored, but that God has chosen her to have His son, the Messiah, the Savior. Imagine the whirlwind of thoughts and emotions that must have danced and warred within her consciousness. Mary was a learned woman. She knew the scriptures. She knew what the Messiah was… a deliverer, a savior, a redeemer. She knew the prophecies of his life. She knew God in a way that caused Him to choose her. She knew.
Mary had attended meetings in the synagogue where the leaders had read the prophecies of the Messiah. She knew he would be spat on and struck, disfigured by extreme suffering, widely rejected by all people, and die despite his unfailing willingness to carry the transgressions of all of humanity. She knew.
She knew all of this, and yet she chose to say yes. “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be as you have said.” Did Jesus suffer and die for our sins? Most assuredly. Did Mary also suffer for our sins? Yes, and just as willingly as Christ did.
The only other power greater than a mother’s love is that of Christ’s love for us. I cannot comprehend the anguish Mary must have felt as she gazed into the brown eyes of her first born son knowing that he must suffer as he would. That as she welcomed him into this world, the joy she felt in holding him was shrouded in grief, knowing her time with him to be limited. Watching him grow strong and tall, lean and muscular, knowing that his life was not to be like that of his brothers. Knowing that he wasn’t hers at all. Despite it all, she knew, and she was willing. Just as her son knew what was to come, and yet He also was willing.
Because she knew something else… that despite the agony she felt in those three days’ time, she would once again wrap her arms around her son. The anguish of waiting, fighting against those inevitable doubts, the endless war between grief and anticipation… she knew it would end. She knew he would come back to her. That she would embrace her child whom she adored on levels no other mother could understand. She knew, just as she had always known. And that is why she was willing.