“Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” ~ Luke 2:34-35
These words often cause me to wonder if she felt the first pang in heart as they were spoken over her… over her son. The Son that would grow to become the Man who gave His life as a ransom for many. As she walked with him on the road to Golgotha, the piercing must have been slow and agonizing. I wonder if for her it felt like yesterday that he was lying in a manger, surrounded by shepherds and angels singing “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.”
Could she sense the glory?
Did this feel like peace?
Reading through the closing chapters of Matthew at the end of this Holy Week, I imagine what it must have been like to bear witness to it all. As a mother, her heart must have been closest to His and the most broken for Him. Yet when I think of His broken flesh, the blood pouring out, the suffering, the mocking, the humiliation, my own soul is pierced.
Pierced because of my sin.
It’s difficult to look at the images artists have created for centuries. The films, the paintings, the sculptures, the photographs. I often turn away because it’s sad. It’s gross. It’s difficult to take in.
It pierces my soul.
Today, as I reflect upon the cross and the Man who hung there in place of me, it is my sin that pierces my soul.
Every lashing, every scourging, every drop of spit and shame represents me and what I have done. Yet in His great mercy He took it for me. In His great love He suffered silently. In His glory the darkness in my heart is revealed.
And when the words, “It is finished” flood my mind, I am filled with hope that covers my shame, I can sense the washing of dirt from my soul. I am filled with love that cannot be described by my own words.
This is glory.
This is love.