March 25th is the feast of the Annunciation of Mary. It marks when Gabriel came and proclaimed that she would bear a son by the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:26-38 recounts the annunciation:
Birth of Jesus Foretold
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
In Matthew 1: 21-23, Joseph is also told of Jesus’ birth, being comforted by Gabriel that he should not be afraid to take Mary as his wife.
She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
It is a moment filled with great joy and anticipation (and probably a little fear). Mary will bear the Son of God! A Son who is the prophesied Messiah, a Son who will save his people from their sin. A Son who will fulfill the promises God has made to his people throughout the Old Testament (Psalm 2, 2 Samuel 7, etc.).
This year, March 25th also happens to be Good Friday. The day when the proclamation that Jesus will save his people from their sins is fulfilled. It all comes full circle. About thirty-three years later on Good Friday, the proclamation and promise of a Messiah who would save his people from their sins would meet with great sorrow. Because to do that, the sinless Savior would have to suffer as Isaiah prophesied in 52:13-53:12. Jesus the Messiah, had to suffer innocently for the sins of his people. He was pierced for our transgressions and by his stripes we are healed. He had to be raised upon the cross and die so that our sin could be washed clean by his blood.
And so we wait with Mary. We wait with her as she stands at the cross, looking upon our Savior’s suffering for us. We weep because it is our sin that has put him there.