Three days and two night ago, Mary’s entire world came crashing down. The earth opened up and swallowed it into an abyss of darkness and confusion, leaving only soul crushing grief that compounded the darkness and confusion that threatened to swallow her up with it.
There was barely enough time to get him down from that tree on which he had died and find a place for body before the Sabbath began. (John 19:42)
The crash and whirl of those events that came upon them in a rushing torrent so quickly that they were overwhelmed, reeling, barely able to breath from beginning to end, ended with his death, leaving only an oppressive emptiness of profound grief.
All the men abandoned him as their world began to unravel. The petty squabbling that broke up dinner the night before left Mary confused about what Jesus had been saying. Jesus was trying to tell them something important, but she could only remember bits and pieces….
Something about a cup… and pouring out his blood and…. It was all so unreal. It was like Jesus knew exactly what was going to happen. She could see it in his eyes. He was resigned to it.
Jesus wouldn’t even let anyone try to defend him. He just gave himself up.
And those men who were always arguing about who was the greatest: they didn’t do anything. Jesus asked them to stay awake with him and pray, as if Jesus really did know what was happening, and they couldn’t. They couldn’t even do that!
They were nowhere to be found when Jesus needed them. Mary even heard they denied knowing Jesus, but Mary and the other women would not leave him. They saw the whole unimaginable thing.
If it wasn’t for the Joseph, who knows where his body would have ended up. They barely had time to get his body down off that tree, no thanks to the guards. It’s a good thing that Joseph owned a tomb nearby and was gracious enough to let them use it. (Luke 23:50-53)
They had no time to prepare him properly. It was the Sabbath, and night was upon them.
The hours were a whirlwind. They seemed like an eternity. Jesus lay there through the night. It weighed so heavily on Mary’s heart. She needed to get to him.
Mary waited for the Sabbath to end before she prepared the spices and ointments. (Luke 23:56) She couldn’t sleep anyway. Tears came in waves. She could hardly see at times, wiping them away with the back of her hands, and in between they fell from her cheeks into the mixture of ointment and spices.
Mary remembered the day she was able to show the deep gratitude she felt for Jesus after he rescued her from the demons that tormented her nearly all the days of her life. She didn’t care what anyone thought. Nothing had been more precious to her than the ointments she collected… until Jesus set her free. She would have spent her entire life pouring her very self out for him…. It was the least she could do.
If only there was more time.