I know it’s Christmas, which is the celebration of Jesus’ birth, but the next chapter in my regular reading this morning was about Jesus’ crucifixion. He was brought before Pilate, accused, betrayed, scourged, ridiculed, struck, spat upon, mockingly worshiped, forced to carry His cross, pierced, blasphemed, and killed. Only as He died did one of the centurions proclaim, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!”
During our Christmas performance at church last night, Mary, the mother of Jesus sang a song that said, “Only God knows what my eyes cannot see. When I don’t understand, I still believe there’s a plan…that only God knows.” Mary had trusted the Lord even when it made no sense to her. Joseph had done the same.
As I read about Jesus’ death this morning, I couldn’t help but note the striking difference in feelings that emerge from the story of His birth and the story of His death. How proud I felt last night of Mary and Joseph for truly trusting God, in His sovereignty, and being vessels to carry out His plans. We find Joseph trusting in and obeying God more than once as we read the scriptures. We find Mary, not only being willing, but also magnifying and rejoicing in the Lord.
The story of Jesus’ death includes His mother, as well. Yet, as I read about her looking on as her Son had been humiliated, abused, and was now suffering and dying on a cross, I felt such sadness for her. How much harder must it have been to continue to trust in God’s plan during that pain.
And yet, we find her afterwards, in Acts 1:14, gathered with the other believers, continuing in one accord in prayer and supplication. She continued to submit herself to the Lord and His will even though she had witnessed His will including the horrific death of her Son. She understood what Jesus’ death meant. She understood that there is so much more to this life that what our eyes can see.
Oh, how I pray that we will be able to trust in the Lord as Mary did. As the end approaches, and things increasingly point us away from the Lord, we must still trust in Him and His will. He still has a plan, and if we’re willing, that plans still includes us. There is so much more for those who believe in Him. There is so much more than what our eyes can see or what we can even understand.
The birth of Mary’s Son brought the gospel, healing, and deliverance to those who heard and were touched by Him. The death of Mary’s Son brought salvation upon the whole world. Whatever God does through our willingness is also a part of His plan. We can trust in the One who continues to be faithful.
Counting on Him,