May 14 I Sunday
2 Kings 19-21
“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” —Luke 2:19
Many mothers keep a treasure chest with precious mementoes of their children, but every mother keeps a treasure box of memories within her heart. Some are fun, warm and happy, while others are sad and painful. Together, they paint an indelible picture of all the ups and downs we have with our children throughout the years.
We know Mary treasured and pondered memories in her heart, moments she would have observed with amazement and confusion until at the brutal end of her Son’s life, she is standing by the cross, shrouded in darkness. Treasures from God are formed in the dark beneath the surface, usually under pressure and over lengthy periods of time. Like every Jewish woman, Mary lived in expectation of the promised Messiah. She had good plans to marry Joseph, but God interrupted those plans with a far greater one—sending Jesus, the greatest plan of all time for all people—and Mary readily responded, “I am the Lord’s servant....May Your word to me be fulfilled” (Luke 1:38).
In the humble abode of a stable, Mary swaddled her baby with Joseph by her side. Shepherds came unannounced to see for themselves this newborn Saviour the angel had told them about. Later, when the Magi came with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, a theme would have emerged in Mary’s heart. Myrrh was used to prepare bodies for burial, and she knew her Son was born to die. Her memories would lead her to the most painful moment of her life. Looking down from the cross, Jesus said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple (whom He loved), “Behold, your mother!” (John 19:26-27 NKJV).
How does one remain standing through such an ordeal? Mary’s loyalty, courage and love have brought her to this moment when in her darkest hour, Jesus gives her the greatest treasure of all. He first validates her need to be His mother, and then gives her all she longed to give Him, not to store in her box, but to live out for the rest of her life. In that moment, a tremendous truth would have dawned on her. To quote author Herbert Lockyer, “That He who hung on the cross was not her son; that before the world was, He was; that so far from being His mother, she was herself His child.” Incredibly, Mary was looking into the face of God.
God offers the ultimate gift of life to everyone who believes in His Son. Have we put into our treasure box a time when we told our children that?
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I cannot imagine what Mary endured. Thank You, Lord, that she was a loyal, courageous and loving servant. Help me to be the same.