Mary’s decision to follow Jesus would not have been all ‘fun and games.’ Many times I’m sure she began to wonder where it was all leading, and indeed what was she doing, being a part of it. Yes, there were many good times when people accepted His teaching, rallied around Him and treated Him like ‘a star’.
However, there were times which were scary and times which were down-right dangerous. The people seemed to like Him well enough – most of the time. However, there were the religious leaders who seemed at first fascinated by His radical teaching and leadership and later started to oppose Him. It started slowly and sarcastically as they tried to discredit Him, and when that failed, the aggression became heated and vicious.
Did that deter Mary from her devotion or financial support? Apparently not. She continued through the years of opposition and into the last week of Jesus’ life. She didn’t turn away when Jesus appeared to ‘lose the plot’ in the temple – turning over the tables and setting the animals and birds free whilst chiding the sellers and moneychangers and driving them out of the temple courts with their whips.
She stuck by Him when the tide of vehement opposition rose to alarming heights. She stayed with Him through the black days of betrayal, capture and denial - the mockery of the trial, the humiliation from Herod and the flogging by Pilate.
She followed in the procession behind Jesus as He made His slow, pain-ridden and stumbling way up the hill of Golgotha – that place that looked like a skull. She watched as He was laid down on the Cross, nailed to it, lifted up and dropped into its hole.
She watched as blood poured from the crown of thorns piercing His brow and the nail holes in his ankles and wrists. She saw Him heaving up to breathe. She saw Him turn from the drink jammed in His face.
Mary heard the mocking of the soldiers; the jeering of the crowds; the accusation of the thieves dying on either side of Him, and the blasphemy of the Chief Priests and elders mocking His Father God.
She heard Him cry, “Father, forgive them, they don’t understand what they are doing.” And “My God, my God why are you forsaking me?”
She then heard Him cry, “It’s finished!”
Mary watched as He died. She watched as His body was taken down from the Cross. She watched as Nicodemus and Joseph came and hurriedly removed His body, wrapped it in spices and laid it in the tomb hewn in the rock-face. She watched as the tomb was sealed with a 2-ton stone rock. She watched as everyone made their weary way home.
Mary too went home to make preparations to make sure Jesus had a proper burial…