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Help Me Understand
by Kathy Cartee
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Help Me Understand

As Mary Magdalene entered the Garden of Gethsemane her body was trembling, shaking with the force of the quake which had taken place as Jesus took his last breath. She searched with desperation for the place where she had last seen the one she loved.

The garden was always beautiful this time of year but all the beauty of her surrounding escaped her. She could not hear the singing of the birds or smell the fragrance of the flowers. She was trying to understand how He could be gone. Why had He suffered such an awful death?

How could He say to the thief on the cross beside Him, “Today you shall be with Me in paradise?”

Paradise was the place she wanted to be. Why could she not go with Him? Life without Him was unbearable.

When at last she found the path leading to the place where He often came to pray, she was unable to stand another second. As she fell to the ground her body lay in a fetal position. Her heart was beating so loudly the sound vibrated in her ears, reminding her of the sound of the hammer which rang through the air as it pounded the nails into the hands and feet of Jesus. It had only been hours ago, yet to Mary it seemed like she had been without Him for an eternity.

There was an agony within her that pierced to the very dept of her heart. Her thoughts were a mass of confusion; she had come here straight from the tomb where they laid the body of Jesus. The thought of the torture He experienced on the cross flooded her mind. She stood close to the scene of His death with His disciples and a few other women. His Mother Mary was barely able to stand for the agony that was piercing her heart. John held her, giving her support.

Jesus seeing them, said, “Woman behold thy son.” He spoke to the disciple saying. “Son behold thy Mother”

At that moment, His mother knew she would never hold Him in her arms again. She would never hear the sound of his voice or feel the touch of His hands.

Mary Magdalene cried out to God, “Lord, where are your legions of angels?”

As she cried out for His deliverance she could hear Him saying, “Father forgives them for they know not what they do.”

Forgive them! Forgive them! How could these words be coming form Him at such a time as this? She remembered how His body looked. The Roman soldiers had beaten Him beyond recognitions. They had torn the flesh from his body with the whip. He was on a cross His hands and feet pierced through with nails. Blood flowed freely from His head to His feet the blood from the wounds he had received.

“How could He be thinking of forgiving those who stood mocking and spitting on Him?”

They were laughing and joking and saying, “If you are the Son of God then save yourself.”

Where were the multitudes of people whose lives He had touched? Where were they now when He needed someone to love Him? The deaf, the blind, the lame, those He had raised from the dead. Why were they not here? They, celebrated Him as the King of Kings, the Son of David and said, “They believed on Him.” Their cries of crucify Him had brought Him here to suffer and die. What did they call love? Banabas, a lair and a thief should have been the one on the cross, but he was free and Jesus hung there in his place. Who shall declare the unfairness of His death? Will all voices remain silent?

It seemed like they watched in helplessness for hours. When the voice of Jesus rang out through the Heavens saying: “My God, My God why have you forsaken Me?” With a loud voice Jesus said, Father into thy hands I commit My spirit”

His mother Mary collapsed to the ground; weeping, refusing to be comforted and those that loved Him wept with agony as He took last breath. Mary wondered why His Father had forsaken Him in the hour of His greatest need.

At that moment the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom. The earth quaked; and the rocks split crushing them in to fine pieces of dust. Darkness filed the earth and the centurions and the people began to cry out, “Surely this was The Son of God!”

Mary Magdalene remembered sinking to her knees. Her cry came from the deepest recesses of her heart vibrating through the air like the sound of thunder. “Jesus I want to be with You, come and take me to Your Kingdom. There can be no life without You. The earth lies in darkness without your presence. You Lord are the Light of the World and where shall we be without You?”

When all her words failed and she no longer knew what to say a great wailing began from someplace deep within her spirit. Until she fell at last, prostate on the ground, too exhausted to move.

The voices of the centurion’s stirred her. She knew the custom was to break the legs of those on the crosses to hasten their death. They broke the legs of the two thieves. When they noticed Jesus was already dead, one of the centurions raised his spear high in the air, bringing the point of the spear right into His side. She could still feel her heart breaking in unbearable remnants of pain, as she saw blood and water flow from His side. Then Joseph of Arimathaea came and took His body down from the cross as they watched in silent mourning for the one they loved.

They followed Joseph as he laid Jesus in the garden tomb and then she left, seeking a place to mourn the lost of her beloved alone. She remembered The Garden of Gethsemane, where He spent His last hour before the soldiers came and carried Him away. She knew how much Jesus loved the garden. She needed to feel close to Him and remember His words. She knew she made the right choice by coming here. It was as if something of Him remained here, there was a peace, which was strengthening her as she meditated. Her thought were becoming clearer

Her thoughts were becoming clearer and now her mind raced back in time to her life before she met Jesus. The city of Magda on the west coast of the Sea of Galilee was the place of her birth.

Copy right Kathryn Cartee 3/25/05


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