Pieta-Tears of Eternal Life

Pieta - 1 (1)

“You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1:31-33

Keith and I just returned from Rome. The Pieta is my favorite piece of art. While tourists are pointing and snapping photos, I work my way through the crowd to stand next to the barrier that separates us from Michelangelo’s meditation in marble. Each year that I’ve returned, I’ve cried or I’ve hugged another woman who could not control the tears.

Mary’s grief became our grief.

I wonder if she was thinking about Gabriel’s proclamation about her son, the One who would be the Son of the Most High, Jesus who would reign on David’s throne.

From a mother’s eyes, I saw a woman who had experienced everything miraculous about her Son, her Savior, her Lord … from His birth, to the turning of water into wine, from raising the dead, to healing the lepers, restoring sight to the blind and song to the deaf. This was the Man who was slated to save Israel. In her lap was her Messiah. Here was all her hope, all her love, all her dreams. Beaten beyond recognition. Dead.

As she holds her Savior, her hand asks “Why?”

Why?

You and I are sinners.

Why?

The cost of our sin is death – complete separation from our Holy God.

Why?

Jesus paid the cost of our sin by living a perfect life and dying in our place – the perfect sacrifice.

Why?

Jesus’ death on the cross cleansed us from our sins and made it possible to live forever with Him – if we become His followers.

Why?

Jesus rose from the dead, conquering death.

Why?

Jesus now sits in heaven at the right hand of God speaking on our behalf when Satan accuses us of sin.

Why?

Jesus loves me. Jesus loves you.

Why?

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

My prayer

Father, thank You for Jesus. Thank You for giving Jesus to the world as our Savior. I pray that You will fill readers with a deeper knowledge and appreciation of Your sacrifice and bring those who do not know You to a saving belief in Jesus. I love You, Lord.

What emotion is filling you this Christmas?

Nativity

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in amanger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them. Luke 2:1-20

My prayer for you:

Father, thank You for entering the world through a poor young woman who was obedient to Your will. Thank You for emptying Yourself of Your glory and eternity for a time to become a baby. Thank You for sending the first news of Your arrival on earth to shepherds and filling them with wonder and boldness to spread the word about what had happened. Bless us with the joy and wonder that filled the shepherds that night and embolden us to proclaim Your praises and sing, Joy to the World!

What emotion fills your heart at Christmas?