The sun had fallen just as her heart had fallen. She had watched from far off, barely able to make out his face, cheeks stained with tears, skin torn away from his body. His hands were pierced, wrists wrapped in drying blood. She could see those hands from where she stood, arm-in-arm with Mary, His mother–the same hands the old woman held as He took His first steps. They were the same hands that touched the weak to bring the Healing. They were the same hands that broke the bread to feed the people.
Mary gasped when she heard the crowd stir as Jesus spoke. Too far to hear, she made to step closer, but Mary held her back, Salome at her side, tears clouding their eyes.
The women fell to their knees when a Roman soldier drew near to Jesus and knelt before Him. His face was upraised and his words were clear, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!” The crowd around him scowled, shook their heads, threw dirt at him. He stood and stumbled up to the cross, wrapping a hand around the rough wood, he stood a moment with head bowed.
Too late, too late for Jesus to see this last miracle, Mary had thought, but Jesus’ mother smiled and thanked God. She stood and drew the younger women to herself and whispered to the night-darkness around them. “Jesus.”
The memories of Golgotha haunted her sleep, and she woke through the night to bitter cold thinking of Jesus lying in the cold tomb carved from the rock.
The sun rose on the Sabbath, and Mary’s grieving heart didn’t want to celebrate.