For the first time in my ministerial life, I devoted an entire sermon to Mary, the mother of Jesus during our Mother’s Day service last week. Heretofore, I’m ashamed to say I restricted her to only the Christmas season. But only recently have I come to understand, at least just a little, how extraordinary her life was, and what a glorious role she played in the most magnanimous, pivotal event ever recorded in history.
First of all, God had enough confidence in her that He chose her to give birth to His only begotten Son, Jesus — the “God-Man,” God incarnate - the Savior of the world. (Luke 1:28) God, who can do anything, who is sovereign — who commands the seas to cease to roll, the wind to stop blowing; who commands a whale to transport a prophet — yet God, in all his unlimited wisdom, decided to transport Himself into this world, just as every other human has done — through the birth canal of a woman.
But not just any woman — but a virgin in whose womb the seed of the Holy Spirit was planted. She was a very young girl (many scholars believe she was in her early teens when she bore the Savior) Mary understood the disgrace mothers experienced getting pregnant out of wedlock although she had not been with a man. Her pregnancy was not a result of debauchery, but was instead, a result of the plan of redemption, which was born in the infinite mind of God in eternities past.
Mary knew what a young woman felt like as a young, weak female who was considered unsuitable by the society of the day. And that’s the kind of person God can use - the most unlikely one.
Mary knew suffering. Since she was a direct descendant of the tribe of Judah, she had to be well schooled in Old Testament scripture; In reading Isaiah 53, she had to know, and live with the dreadful thought all through her years with Jesus that one day she would witness His horrible death on the cross.
Like everyone else who desires a relationship with Christ, Mary had to place her faith in this One, to whom she gave physical birth. (Luke 1:46-47) He was her baby — he was her teenage boy — he was that young Man who performed His first miracle at Cana at the wedding feast — and He was her Savior.
She knew the frantic feeling of leaving Jerusalem with an entourage to return home to Nazareth after the annual Feast of the Passover in Jerusalem and having misplaced her 12-year-old boy (Luke 2:41-49). When they returned to Jerusalem in search of him, they found him teaching great men in the temple. He was not being disobedient to His parents — He was busy doing the will of His Heavenly Father.
She knew the heart-wrenching agony of watching her beloved Son dying on the cross for the sin of the entire world. She watched as He not only was giving His life’s blood for the remission of sin, but He was taking care of other business — saving a thief who was on a cross beside him; making provisions for his mother to be cared for by the Apostle John; and begging the Heavenly Father to forgive all those who had a hand in the crucifixion.
There is no agony like a mother giving up a child — but this child was unique — He was perfect; He never misspoke; He never had an evil thought; He did nothing but good to everyone He touched; He demonstrated the ultimate in unconditional love. He lived a sinless life of perfection. In a great moment of great inner turmoil and conflict, Mary was weeping over her suffering Son — and at the same time she had to be saying, “What a Savior!”
Today, she, along with all the redeemed in Heaven, is kneeling before his feet as He sits at the Father’s right hand; What a glorious reunion that had to be!