Note: This is part of an ongoing series of posts about women in scripture.
In my others posts about Mary (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 5), I’ve tried to imagine what Mary felt at different stages in her life. We don’t know a lot about how she raised Jesus, but we do know that she traveled to Capernaum to see him during his ministry (see Luke 8:19) and followed him to Jerusalem for the final week of his mortal life. Was she present when his execution was announced, as shown in the 2014 movie The Son of God ?
Of all of her experiences, the most poignant must have when she “stood by the cross of Jesus” (John 19:25). Context tells us that she was close enough to him that Jesus was able to hold a conversation with her (see John 19:26-27). Did Mary remember that Simeon had prophesied that sword would pierce her heart? (see Luke 2:34). What did that piercing feel like?
Rather than dwell on the pain Mary must have felt, I want to reflect on what Mary felt on the resurrection morning. Was she among the “other women” who came to the tomb of Jesus? (see Luke 24:10). The scriptures are silent as to whether the Savior visited his mother after the resurrection – but surely she who was present for both Christ’s birth and death was a witness of his resurrection! This event has been depicted in numerous ways, including the below painting by famous Italian artist Guercino.
One of my favorite parts of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is that it has a special chapel commemorating Christ’s post-resurrection visit to his mother. While this is not a scriptural event, I love thinking about it. Surely she whose sorrow was deepest at the death of Christ felt the most joy at seeing the Savior again. Just as we sorrow with Mary at the cross, may we have joy with her on resurrection morning.