Torch, Spring 1979

14 The Times and the Seasons Pat Landers Dixon H ave you ever studied the women mentioned in the Biblical passages concerning our Lord's death, burial and resurrection? Elsewhere in this issue we have seen Mary Magdalene's probable reactions. Now let us consider another woman, Mary, the mother of our Lord. It is impossible to relate to Mary's grief as she watched her Son suffer under the cruel hands which He had fashioned. The lips which He had made to praise Him now mocked the Creator. The water which He so graciously had supplied to satisfy man's thirst was withheld. Should she not scream, "Don't you know Who this is"? "Listen, I'll tell you how an angel appeared to me..." Yet, we have no record of her trying to persuade the watching men and women that this man was the Messiah, once the Babe she had carried. I suppose I have always unconsciously pictured Mary at the foot of the cross-so close as to reach out and touch her Son's disjointed body.Why, I imagined her weeping and wailing. Tears incessantly flowed as she stayed as long as she could in that very spot. But, look at John 19:25; Mary is standing. This posture destroys my earlier images. Why would her standing impress me? In studying about Jewish customs of death and burials, I found that most Jewish mothers would have been prostrate with dishevelled hair and tom garments. There would have been tears and wailing. (Ah, at least, my ITINERARIES Rev. Paul Dixon, April 7 Iowa State Youth Rally, Ankeny IA; 8 Conseivative Baptist Church, Crestline OH; 21 Illinois/ Missouri State Youth Rally, Bloomington IL; 22 First Baptist Church,Arlington Heights IL; 29 First Baptist Church, Louisville OH; May 6 Windsor Village Bap· tis! Church, Indianapolis IN; 13 First Baptist Church, Germantown OH; 20-23 Grace Baptist Church, Cedarville OH; 25 Northwest Baptist Seminary Commencement, Tacoma WA; 26 Bethesda Christian Schools Commencement, Brownsburg IN; 27 Bethesda Baptist Church, Brownsburg IN; 28 Grace Baptist Schools Commencement, Decatur AL; June 2 Cedarville College Commencement, Cedarville OH; 3 Berean Baptist Church Commencement, Adrian MI; 4 Beth Haven Baptist Schools Commencement, Louisville KY; 5 Baptist Chris· tian Schools Commencement, Cleveland OH; 7 Timberlake Christian former mental picture depicted the average Jewish mother.) Some families even employed professional mourners (Matt. 9:23, Acts 9:39.) Yet she stands silently. Her Son instructs John to keep her and she leaves quietly. Her grief and sorrow surely must have raged within her heart. Is she quiet because she is assured her Son will arise? Does she now know He will conquer death? Or, is she remembering Gabriel's pronouncement so long ago? She stands, I believe, so that we women can remember her deliberate and undistraught posture and be encouraged. When death comes to a beloved child, be encouraged to accept that death in the light of the resurrection as Mary did. Be encouraged because her Son invites our cares and sorrows and gives peace to the sorrowing. If she could stand and not stoop to the common practices of the defeated mourning of them in whom there is no hope, so can we. Stand on the promises of the resurrection. HAD CHRISTNOTRISEN Had Christ not risen from the dead, First-fruits of them that slept, Then had this sodden, weary world been drowned In tears that men had wept. The bitter, futile tears they shed beside The graves where loved ones lay Forever in the bosom of the earth, Returned to dust and clay! Had He not risen, then the dreadful sum Of human woe would be A burden on the very heart of God Throughout eternity. 0 , praise His blessed name forevermore! He rose that wondrous mom, And gave the balm of Gilead, the oil Of joy to them that mourn; And unto those whom He had washed and saved, A resurrection day When broken hearts shall be forever healed And all tears wiped away! -Martha Snell Nicholson Schools Commencement, LynchburgVA;8Bethany Baptist Fellowship, Waterford PA; 14 Calvary Baptist Church Academy Commencement, Meadville PA; 21-23 GARBC Council of Eighteen Meetings, Dayton OH; 24 Cincinnati Reds & San Francisco Giants Chapel, Cincinnati OH; 25-29 GARBC National Conference, Dayton OH Dr. James T. Jeremiah, April 1-4 Immanuel . Baptist Church, Arcanum OH; 8-11 Grand Avenue Baptist Church, Fairborn OH; 10- 12 Cedarville College Chapel; 15-18Troy Baptist Church, Garretsville OH; 20-22 Clintonville Baptist Church, Columbus OH; May 4-21 Northwest Baptist Seminary, Tacoma WA; 28-30 Odosagih Bible Conference, Odosagih NY; June 5 Hagerstown Heritage School Com– mencement, Hagerstown MD; 8 Independent Baptist Fellowship Meeting, Allegany NY; 10-13 Allegany Baptist Church, Allegany NY; 17-20 First Baptist Church, Elyria OH; 25-29 GARBC National Conference, Dayton OH.