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Mary Magdalene’s Passion

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. ~ John 19: 25

This can’t be happening.

Rabboni, why would they arrest you? You are the most righteous man I’ve ever met. What will happen to you, to us all? Surely they will find you innocent.

Prisons are terrible places; are you cold or hungry? Oh, I wish I could bring you a cloak and some food.

The chief priests and Pharisees have you in their talons, but aren’t they just trying to intimidate you? You are the Messiah—won’t you somehow miraculously escape?

“No, Peter! It can’t be true. They’re crucifying my Lord? You say the crowds turned against him? The very people who only a few days ago waved palm fronds and shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David?” Why didn’t anyone come to his defense? Cowards! They are all cowards!”

He’s being taken to Golgatha? I must hurry to Jerusalem. Perhaps there’s some small thing I can still do for my Lord.

***

Jehovah, have mercy on us. Deliver your son. Is he not destined to save Israel? The Messiah can’t die, can he?

My Lord, I can’t bear to think about losing you. I don’t see how I will be able to go on. How can the sun shine if you are taken away?

I see your beautiful face, the compassion, warmth and tenderness in your eyes, and the glint of sterling integrity that inhabits your penetrating gaze.

I see you walking down the streets of Bethany with the nobility and grace of a prince, yet there’s no hint of arrogance in your bearing.

I see you standing on the Galilean mountainside preaching with divine authority. A shout from you and surely all creation would tremble.

Ah, this voice…such resonance and warmth, flowing like honey with words of life and love. Once I thought it would kill me, that day you commanded my inner tormentors be torn from my flesh. But what joy to be free! Oh, that I could always wrap myself inside the sound of your voice, to always be near you.

And now, are those detestable Pharisees going to succeed in silencing perfect goodness and love? How is this possible?

***

Golgatha up ahead, three crosses. I’m coming, my Lord; no one is going to stop me. I will be there for you until the end, no matter what happens. You shall not die alone.

Oh, my Master, my Lord. What have they done to you? You’re hardly recognizable. These Roman brutes!

They took your clothes? You, who bear yourself like a prince, are given no dignity in death?

Nails? In such hands?
Hands that tousled the hair of countless children.
Hands that broke bread and fed thousands.
Hands that touched multitudes, healing, comforting…

Where is justice? Where are you, Jehovah? Do you not hear; do you not care? Do something!

Someone, quick. Don’t you hear my Lord saying that he’s thirsty? Let me help him, soldier. Why are you pushing me back? See, he cannot breathe hanging like that. Take him down from there. I will nurse him back to health. Please, please…

This darkness…what is it? This sinister presence…a black sky…evil…the old familiar oppression…all around but not in me.

It is finished? No, don’t leave me, my Lord, my joy, my life, my hope…

My God, why have you forsaken ME?

***

I couldn’t sleep all night, my Lord. Couldn’t stop crying. So here I am, up early, going to your tomb to bring spices. I must honor you somehow. I must show my undying devotion. Somehow you must know what you meant to me. You must know how I loved you. You must know with what supreme honor I hold you in my heart. This is the last thing I can still do for you…

Why is the tomb open?

What? He’s not here? Where is he? Where have they put him? How can I say goodbye if he’s not here?

“You men in white, why are you asking me why I’m crying? They have taken my Lord away and I don’t know where they put him. Do you know where he is? I must go find him…”

“Oh, sir, please help me. Are you the Gardener? Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you put him and I will get him. Please don’t think I am out of my mind; I’m just overcome by my grief. I will be able to get him. I can get help, please…just tell me where he is…”

Gardener, how do you know my name?

That voice!

“Rabboni! You’re alive!!!”

This…can’t…be…happening…

©2009 Ruth Wood. All rights reserved.

  1. Oh Ruth…this was breathtakingly beautiful…I love how you wrote this as a story…Tears are still stinging my eyes.

    Comment by Angela — April 4, 2009 @ 7:16 pm

  2. I’m sure that’s very close to how she felt!

    Comment by Muthering Heights — April 5, 2009 @ 5:05 pm

  3. This is breathtakingly beautiful. I love the perspective you used. As a Christian storyteller, I really related to Mary’s point of view.

    Easter Blessings to you.

    Mary

    Comment by Mary — April 11, 2009 @ 5:38 am

  4. Ruth, your writing stirs my heart again about that empty tomb…He’s not there….He is risen. Blessings & hugs…..Vicki

    Comment by Vicki — April 13, 2009 @ 10:57 am