Waiting For Sunday: An Essay

What must it have been like to see your son executed in such a vile, horrific way?  One can hardly linger on the thought as Mary's suffering would have been considerable at seeing her son murdered, and its probably safe to assume it added to Jesus' suffering to see his mother distraught at his execution. 

There would have been the temptation to walk away.  Who could stand under the enormity of error in killing an innocent man?  There were those that remained nearby until the end; however. Until after the ground shook and the sky thundered.  Until after the darkness had spread across the noon day sun and then dissipated once the veil of the Temple had been torn. Until after they took Jesus' limp body down from the cross - devoid of Spirit and life. 

Perhaps Mary's sister, mentioned briefly in John's Gospel account, lingered after it was all said and done. To see with her own eyes and relay to her sister what happened.

Perhaps she stood in stunned disbelief.  Replaying in her mind Jesus' last moments.

"It is finished."

Perhaps she recalled all of the promises and claims Jesus had made..."I am the Messiah, the Light of the world, the Bread of Life."  

Perhaps doubt crept in and she began to speculate that her nephew was, in fact, just a crazy man born to a woman who made everything up about the angel and virgin birth in order to cover up the fact that she had become pregnant outside of marriage.

She would have known her sister better than that.  She would have known Jesus better than that.  

Perhaps she recalled all the miracles or how she felt such overwhelming love and joy when she was around Jesus.  Those things were real.   She'd seen and felt them.

Perhaps the faces of those Jesus had raised from the dead would flood her mind and her ears would hear, again, Jesus' prophetic words about his own death and resurrection spoken just days earlier.   

Perhaps hope would flood her soul and her heart would skip a beat that Jesus could very well raise himself from the dead like he'd raised others.

But, then, perhaps the most urgent thought was, "What now?"

There had to have been fear of the Jewish leaders seeking to take care of any collateral damage in the aftermath of Jesus' death.  They would have to act quickly to extinguish any pockets of rebellion from Jesus' followers.  The Romans, of course, would be of no help to the remnant of Christ's disciples.

Perhaps a bit of resentment would creep in.  Jesus had said he was the Good Shepherd and now, it seems, he'd left them for the wolves.    

Eventually, her feet would have to move and she would have to go somewhere.  Perhaps she joined the disciples in hiding out.  Perhaps the only comfort she could find was to be with those who shared her grief and sorrow.  

Perhaps they all joined together in praying the words of Isaiah,

"Oh, God of Abraham, comfort your people. Comfort your people.  Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed."

Comfort your people, God of Abraham, as we wait. 

As we still wait. 

We wait still. 

The tomb, filled with death, will soon be empty. 

But for now.

We wait.

For Sunday.