GENDUSA COLUMN: The world’s happiest and saddest days

Published 4:23 pm Tuesday, April 4, 2023

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She stood among the crowd, her heart pounding with fear as she watched her beloved son stripped of clothing and any dignity.  The throned crown on his head forced blood to pool into his eyes and down his sweet face. She desperately wanted to wash his brow to comfort him, but the guards surrounding him prevented her.  When they nailed Jesus to the cross and hoisted him high upon the hill, she collapsed on the ground below weeping. 

“How could anyone be so barbaric as to inflict such horror upon my son!” She wailed. Her friends tried to comfort her, but she felt forsaken and lost.

Mary had nurtured and prayed for her son for 33 years. She knew he was God’s child because the angels appeared to her, and the stars shined above him from his first breath onward.  Each day Mary witnessed him grow into a healer, a miracle producer, and a teacher of God’s love and mercy. “How could evil take such goodness away?” She thought as she looked up toward his face and saw his eyes watching her. 

“It is finished,” Jesus said as he took his last breath, leaving his beloved mother heartbroken. 

Her only hope was her faith in all that her son and the old scriptures had told her, “He would return after three days.” 

“Would it be true, would it be?” She silently wondered. “Let it be so, God, let it be!” she prayed.

Mary suddenly felt a comforting hand softly touch her bowed head, but no one was there. And then she understood no matter what, God and His angels were still with her.

As a mother, each Good Friday, I think of Mary’s despair as she rocked back and forth, clutching her chest, trying to ease the grief.  And even though I understand what happened next, I believe that Friday long ago was the world’s saddest day.  We also knew the words of the ancient prophets who foretold what would come to pass. Yet, we still wonder how anyone could kill the son of God when His life was filled with nothing but the truth?

A few days later, she was at John’s home when a fierce knock rocked the door. Several of Jesus’s friends were jumping up and down with joy. “How could they be celebrating at such a time?” Mary thought.

“He’s alive, Mary. He’s alive!” They shouted.

A smile crossed her face, and her heart leaped as it did the first time Jesus stirred in her womb. 

He was alive! All the things her son had declared and taught her were confirmed. She knelt, praising God for freeing her son from the tomb of death.

The disciples recounted the stories of meeting with Jesus before he ascended in glory back to his Father in heaven. Mary relished each sentence and hung on to every word. 

Yes, her son was gone from sight, but when she kneeled to pray, she whispered, “Thank you, God, for choosing me to be his mother.” 

Many more crucifixions, incarcerations, and deaths would occur in the following years because the mighty disciples and brave believers did what Jesus asked. They spread the word to all nations and to each person they passed. There were miracles and visions to proclaim Jesus was, indeed, God’s son.  Books and reports were written and narrated about their accounts that, somehow, survived the hands of time. Testaments that continue to give us instructions to live by and to comprehend that even though death comes, life follows. 

Why, then, do we still dishonor the life of Christ with our timid actions? We should celebrate till the rafters shake in the buildings and hold parades where confetti is thrown on all below because a Savior is still with us. 

Websters defines the word Savior as one who saves from danger or destruction or one who brings salvation. Specifically: Jesus 

The boldness and devotion it took for those who walked away from the cross to teach the world about the life of Jesus Christ is nothing short of a courageousness that only God could provide. The conviction of Mary to live on after so much pain is a testimony to all those who live today.  If we had one ounce of the faith now that they had on the first Easter Sunday, we could set this world afire with hope and resolve to please our mighty, awesome Heavenly Father.

And how grateful we are that three days after our Lord’s suffering and death, He rose to proclaim victory and still does if we choose to be bold and run the race with him. 

Easter Sunday is celebrating the happiest day the world will ever know.