It is the 26th of March 2017. The 4th Sunday of Lent and the day after the celebration of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – the day when the Church recognizes the angel coming to Mary and telling her that she would bring Jesus – the Son of God the Father – the Messiah – the Christ – into the world.
In Lent, we turn our eyes to the coming Crucifixion. For six weeks, we have our attention focused on the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the Cross on Calvary. By the end of the season of Lent, we will stand next Mary at the foot of the Cross and see Jesus die for us.
If you attend a Church that has a “Liturgy of the Passion,” such as Anglicans and Roman Catholics among a few others, you will reenact the scene of the people turning against Jesus and calling for Him to be crucified. It reminds us that He died for our sins as well that day and is quite convicting.
Regardless, if you take a moment to consider the day you can imagine the inner turmoil – the anguish – that Mary is in. Her son – the Son -has been taken from her. She knows – everybody knows – that He is not guilty of any crime. But still, He has been taken from her, stripped, beaten, whipped, and now hoisted upon a cross to die like a common criminal.
My question is, as He hung there on the Cross did she remember? Did she remember the three days when Jesus was separated from her? Did she remember those days back when He was but twelve years old. The days when she and Joseph left Jerusalem and began to travel home having somehow left Jesus behind. The three days when they rushed back and searched high and low for Him until they finally, after three days, found Him in the Temple. Did she remember what he answered when she asked, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.”
That day, after being gone from His earthly parents for three days, Jesus answered: “Did you not know, that I must be about my father’s business?” Jesus reminded them through His question what they already knew from the Annunciation. I have work that must be done. I have been sent by God the Father for a purpose. These past three days were just the beginning.
On that day when Jesus was taken from her – Did she remember? Did she remember the other time Jesus was gone from her for three days? Did she remember the three days when she thought He might be gone for good?
You see that first three days was no accident. Jesus was about His Father’s business and at the same time preparing His earthly parents for the future day when He would be taken from them. Just like athletics, just like the military, just like all of our various emergency workers, there is a matter of practice and training to prepare you for the real thing. Jesus was gone from His earthly parents for three days. Little did they know then that they were being prepared for the day of the Cross. When the day of the Cross came – Did they remember? Because just like when Jesus was twelve – three days later he was restored to them.
What trials have you faced in life? What bigger trials did they prepare you for? What trials may be yet to come? No matter what they are, if you are faithful to Jesus, He will help prepare you for the day when everything seems overwhelming. The question is – Will you remember the days He got you ready? Will you remember that no matter how absent He may seem – He will be restored and will restore you?
Will you remember?