The angel “Gabriel appeared to Mary, ‘Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!’
Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. ‘Don’t be afraid, Mary,’ the angel told her, ‘for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!’
Mary asked the angel, ‘But how can this happen? I am a virgin.’
The angel replied, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.’
Mary responded, ‘I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.’” (Luke 1:28-38 NLT)
What beautiful faith. For Mary knew to be pregnant without a husband, the penalty was death… yet she trusted God.
We all know the story of the manger and how Mary, mother of Jesus, held her child, as she stood and watched as multitudes of angels sang, shepherds came to worship and magi brought incense, gold and myrrh, offerings to their King.
Yet there is a deeper meaning to this name? For Jesus means “Deliverer.” And when the angels sing, they praise Him not just for His birth, but also His death.
Because Mary is a mother who also stood and watched, as Jesus turned water into wine, caused the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, the blind see and the dead rise again.
But she too is a mother, who stood and watched while that same Son, was raised high above where she stood, crowned… with thorns, and nailed to a cross.
She stood and watched while eleven of His disciples fled, denied Him and even betrayed Him. Yet she remained and stood and watched, while a deafening silence consumed heaven, and those same angels became as though mute, as they crucified God’s Son.
“Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Jesus cried out. (Luke 24:36 NLT)
…And Mary stood and watched. She hadn’t forgotten all that God had said, all that the angels had declared, nor all that Jesus had done; yet there He was, and in helpless grief she stood and watched.
“’It is finished!’ Jesus cried. Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” (John 19:30 NLT)
Did Mary know that in three days Jesus would rise again? Did Mary know that Jesus would conquer death and bring salvation to us all? Could Mary have possibly known that as she stood and watched, what she was looking at was prophecy fulfilled, that as He took His last and final breath, He indeed was and is our Deliverer?
Mary, “Blessed are you among women!” (Luke 1:42 NKJ) I am so grateful for those terrible scars you witnessed and touched. Your pain is hard to fathom, but when Jesus returned, He rose again wearing those tragic and terrible scars. Because those scars are scars of our healing, those scars are scars of our forgiveness, they are scars of our Hope, and scars that reveal God’s love for you, and for me. Because those scars are beautiful.
The story of Christmas, the story of Mary, is so much more than just His birth, but also a proclamation of His death.
“Because He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5 NKJ)
This is Mary’s true story, and she like you and me, is Scarred Beautiful.
-written by Andrea Casteel Smith, author of Scarred Beautiful