On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived. Luke 2:21
In March or April of 1997, our first-born son Eddi, was beginning to learn how to walk. I had bought a pretty cheap video camera (although it wasn’t cheap for us) to try to capture on video this major event.
But I was not able to. He took his first steps while the camera was somewhere else in the house.
As soon as Eddie learned how to walk, he was unstoppable! He would pull himself up and brace himself on the couch and begin to take his steps.
One afternoon he was doing this and I was watching him, again with the camera (!), and he stumbled and fell.
I will never forget the feeling I had at the time. Even writing this much as brought back that feeling in my chest and stomach.
It was the first time I had seen the blood of my son coming out of him. It was horrific!
It wasn’t that big of a cut. There wasn’t even that much blood. But I felt terror, horror, and a profound sense of sadness that my son was bleeding and hurt.
I think I can imagine what Mary felt when Jesus first bled. My feelings were probably close to what Mary felt on the eighth day after Jesus was born.
Jesus was circumcised on the eight day after his birth, according to the Law proclaimed by Moses fourteen hundred years before.
This was the first fulfillment of the Law that Jesus performed on our behalf. But it wouldn’t be the last.
He would continue to fulfill God’s Law perfectly for over thirty years.
And then, on a hill outside the walls of Jerusalem, Jesus bled for the last time. He fulfilled all of God’s Law perfectly on a Roman cross. He hung there bleeding and dying for six hours.
Once again, Mary would witness this. Now, I can’t imagine what Mary felt watching her Son bleed and die.
I wonder if Mary remembered the words spoken to her by aged Simeon thirty years previously:
“This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” (Luke 2:34-35, emphasis added).
While I can relate to what Mary might have felt when Jesus was circumcised, I cannot even imagine what she felt watching Jesus bleed and die.
And yet she said, when her journey began decades earlier, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled” (Luke 1:38).
Did she remember this?
I like to think that she did. And I like to think that I would have this kind of faith as well.
After all, the same God that chose Mary and filled her with grace also loves me, calls me his child (through Baptism) and strengthens me with his word and Spirit.
I was horrified when I first saw Eddie bleed. It wasn’t the last time, though. He is all boy, after all. And he is a baseball player. If he got hurt on the ball field, I would tell him to rub dirt on it and get back in the game (and no, I don’t recommend you rub dirt in a bleeding wound – get it cleaned out and bandaged. Then get back on the field!).
I could tell him that because I know that he is in God’s hands just as I am.
©2017 True Men Ministries