My Son

When they lay Him out on the wooden table, I remember the frankincense and myrrh. I still have it. I saved it for this day that I always knew, in the depths of my heart, would come. And now here He is a broken shell, empty and lifeless.

He is my son.

My flesh and blood.

My baby boy…

I carried this man in my womb and felt His kicks. Not too long ago, it seems, I placed my hand on the taut roundness of my belly and felt His little body press back. His heartbeat danced to the same rhythm as mine. I sheltered Him. I prayed over Him.

Now, I place my hand against the side of His battered face where blood has dried and matted in His beard. I barely recognize the grown man that called me mother, even just hours ago. I can barely recognize this Son of God, Yeshua, Savior and Messiah.

The world murdered my Son.

My flesh and blood.

My baby boy.

He shall be called King of Kings, they told me on that starry night thirty-three years ago. I was holding His warmth in my arms and nursing Him, staring at his round cheeks and tiny fingers, amazed that such  tiny bundle could create such chaos in this quiet world. To me, He was precious…darling…baby boy…my son. He was the King of My Heart.

Tears are hot in my eyes as I dip the muslin into warm water and begin to wash away the dirt, the blood, the sweat, and the dirty path where tears had streamed down His face. The pain must have been intolerable as they beat Him, but I knew the tears had been for much more than the pain.

“Why did this have to happen,” I whispered into the darkness, my chin quivering as emotion swelled in my chest. I hadn’t been ready for this. I thought I was, but I wasn’t. It was always in the back of my mind, the memory of the One who told me that I would bore His Son—the God of Abraham, of Isaac…

Somewhere in the darkened room, Mary lights the incense and the smell of the frankincense is heavy in the air. My head swims. I work methodically. I’ve prepared bodies for burial before. I know each step and carry them out with tender care. But this time, it is hard to see through the tears; It is hard to breathe as the wounds lay open before my eyes and my heart takes in the scope of the great suffering my baby boy endured. How will the world ever be able understand—truly—what He has done for them? They will never see His body torn and broken like I do now. They will never know the scent of the flesh and blood, acidic and sour lingering with the incense. They wouldn’t know that my tears fell…or His.

My baby boy…

How could they know what I know? I nursed Him. I raised Him up. I tended every scraped knee and runny nose; every illness and great fever; every tear was wiped away by my hand; every word of encouragement whispered against this tiny ear.

He was God’s first. Yes. But isn’t every child?

“This is not the end,” I say softly, as I gaze down at His face, my fingers tracing the length of His broken nose, the width of His bleeding brow, just as I did so long ago in the darkness of the night when achy tummies kept us up through the hours. I press a tender kiss against His temple where once He nicked on rough edge of our potter’s wheel. He had cried, only four year-old, at the time. He sat in my lap and I held him until the pain was gone, the vessel on the wheel had nearly been complete…

    “The stone the builders rejected,
    has become the capstone;
    the Lord has done this,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

I remembered those words. He spoke them aloud not long…and they pierced heart. Now here He is before me, and I cannot see how it is marvelous. My heart is broken. My son is gone. Tears roll down my face and drip from my chin. They land on the corner of His mouth, washing at the dried blood.

“The snares of death encompassed me, the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish. Then I called on the name of the LORD; "O LORD, I beg you, save my life!"... For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling; I walk before the LORD in the land of the living...
What shall I render to the LORD for all his bounty to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD... O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your handmaid. You have loosed my bonds. I will offer you the sacrifice of thanksgiving…”

The song Yeshua had sung only a few days ago as we celebrate Passover fills my mind. I fall to my knees, one hand reaching to clutch my son’s. He is and was and still is…the Son of Man, The Prince of Peace, the Emmanuel. And I realize now that I am God’s handmaid. I must loosen my bonds. I must let Him go. I must believe that my baby boy was much more than simply my son.

And I will have hope.

This is not the end.

Mary is by my side with a gentle hand upon the top of my head. She helps me up, and together, we finish preparing His body for the tomb.

This is not the end.

We have hope.


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