Summary: Examination of the events of Mary at her son’s execution.
This is Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day cannot be celebrated without a good understanding the mystery of what Motherhood is. Motherhood goes beyond any physical labor, pains and carrying a baby for nine months. A mother’s role is much greater. There are those who serve not as a birth mother, but provide the care and nurturing of a mother. There are those who have given of themselves through the adoption process to serve as a mother for the motherless.
However, Mary, the mother of Jesus, gives us a picture of motherhood that serves us well. She is no longer the late adolescent who gave birth in a manger filled with hay. She is now 33 and 1/2 years removed from that scenario. The average age of those who lived in that day was approximately 50-55, therefore, she is advanced in age. Her visage is noticeably changed.
However, this is the day of her son’s public execution. The crowd has determined that her son, the one birthed from her womb, should face the humiliation of execution by the Roman Cross, hung between two thieves. This is not a trio of thieves nor a trio of lawbreakers. They do not have a common denominator in crime – but they have a common denominator in crucifixion. This is a unrelated group of men who are dying for three separate reasons.
Prisoner #1 is on the left hand. If you will allow me to portray him, his crime against the state is of such nature that requires his execution. He is not a model prisoner, nor is his crime worthy of exoneration or clemency by the State. He obviously has offended the decorum of the day. He is already been deemed without excuse and has been punished by the loss of his life. He even is hostile to the point of his death as he has turned his inner anguish into a barrage against his fellow prisoners - accusing one of being unusually gifted to command angels at His word.
Prisoner # 3 is on the right hand of this triad. He too is guilty of some crime which has required his immediate dismissal from the walk of life. He is guilty without a doubt. and he is now realizes that his life ebbs way as a result of his crime. He realizes that it is now too late to get to the church house. It is now too late to get to the doors of the Temple at Jerusalem. However, he has found clemency of his sinful soul by seeking remembrance from a fellow death row inmate.
Prisoner #2 is unlike prisoners #1 and #3. He is not guilty of any moral lapse, ethical error, or civil disobedience. Matter of fact, if our neighborhoods were populated with more people like him, our neighborhoods would be safer, our churches would be happier and our cities would be flourishing with health and prosperity. His only misdemeanor crime could be that he has chosen to operate without a license:
He healed the sick without the benefit of the Medical Proficiency Board Exams.
He raised the dead without the benefit of an Undertaker’s License.
He restored fractured fellowships without the benefit of a degree in Psychotherapy.
He walked on water without the benefit of Newton’s Law of Physics.