12. The Dead Son

My son, my son, why did you die? Where have you gone that I may follow and bring you back here to gaze upon you and adore you? How I longed to send you into the world to awaken the ignorant with your morning light. Around the world I traveled calling your name. No one could reunite us, with sympathy one after the other bid me farewell.

Why didn’t I memorize your every feature? How could I walk away to leave you to die alone? Forgive me; I did not know that the next hour would be so cruel.

Pharaoh was inconsolable. He didn’t know what to do with himself to escape the agony. Little did it matter to him that mothers and fathers throughout his nation shared this grief.

Instead he demanded to know how it was that those pitiful slaves escaped the demon death. “I can’t bear to see their bright faces, pathetic ignorance. Send them far away from my mournful heart!” shrieked Pharaoh to his body guards and then ran to the balcony threw open the doors and shouted to anyone who would hear,

“GO! Leave this place and me to wail without being heard by laughing eyes!”

The roots of the Passover celebration lie in deep worm-riddled darkness; the dead seed awaits its wheatness.

Drained from the inner explosion, Pharaoh flung himself on his couch wondering if the price of slaves had been worth these sobbing hearts and tear-vomiting eyes? Would that Egypt never knew Joseph, the ancestral dream reader, he thought to himself. Would that Egypt never offered refuge to Jacob’s family.

Rejoice that your work here is through o Israel, but rejoice even more that your final trek is to the bosom of Abraham and to his God. Yes, the Hebrew women rejoiced that the angel of death had passed by their doors last night. Mother after mother clutched her boy lest the demon Death return. Tears of joy and relief fell like spring rain on parched prison soil. Sons squirmed to be released from mother-hugs and run outside to help the men prepare for the Exodus. One by one mothers emerged from their tidy dwellings chirping and doing, packing pots and matzohs. They were united in mixed emotions. No one had left those dusty streets before. Where would they sleep; what would they eat, where were they going…and why?

Zeporah was the first to notice her neighbor’s tears.

“Mary! What is the matter? Come, let’s get ready to leave before Pharaoh changes his mind. Why are you crying Maria?”

“Oh, Zeporah, my Son is dead! My precious Son! What did He do to deserve this murder? We came to Egypt for refuge and we found Hades.” Mary eeked out these words between sobs. Her Son had been torn from the very core of her being; the pain was unbearable for her maternal sensibilities.

Yes, every Hebrew woman but one was glad on the morning following the Passover for when the angel of death swept through the city, Mary’s Son chased after him. Into the depths of Hades they wrestled until death, exhausted surrendered to Jesus, and relinquished his keys to the gates of Hades prison. Mary’s Son grabbed them quickly and unlocked the gate to release his brother Adam and his father Abraham and all of their children and also the innocent Egyptian sons.

“Where o where is my precious Son? You were my king and my master. How can I live another minute without You? Where did you go my Child that I may follow you there and bring you back to gaze upon you and to adore You? Who can I call to find Him for me?”

“Mother, it is I." whispered Jesus in her heart as loudly and clearly as if He had been standing behind the weeping woman. "I have arrived at My home and yours. Make your journey to this land that our God promised us. I will prepare a mansion for you here ma mere, bring my brothers and sisters with you. Fare the well.”