Mary, the mother of Jesus, was at the cross.
It’s an unimaginable picture. Why would any mother, anywhere, intentionally attend the execution of her adult child? Why would her family even allow her attendance?
Fact is, Mary didn’t come to Jerusalem for the crucifixion.
She came for Passover.
Mary and Joseph had kept a long-standing practice of attending the Passover celebration in Jerusalem. “Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover,” is the way Luke 2:41 records it.
At some point, Joseph died. But Mary kept going to Jerusalem for Passover.
It was a long, brutal trip. Almost certainly, Mary walked the entire 75 miles, taking the better part of a week to complete the trip. The last leg of the journey included the 18-mile climb from Jericho to Jerusalem, one of the most difficult hikes you’d ever want to tackle.
The year Jesus died, Mary didn’t make the long journey so she could witness history’s most important moment.
The year her son was stripped naked, scourged until he could barely stand, beaten until he was nearly unrecognizable, she didn’t go to Jerusalem so she could be there when his lifeless body was finally removed from the stakes of torture.
Mary went to Jerusalem because she loved God.