©2010 Susan Noyes Anderson
Gethsemane brought Jesus to His knees.
“Remove this cup from me,” He dared to ask.
His humble prayer, “Thy will, not mine, be done,”
allowed no respite from the fearsome task.
Then Judas branded Jesus with a kiss
and set in motion all that was to be.
For silver, he gave up a heart of gold,
betraying Christ, the Man of Galilee.
In lesser ways, His friends forsook Him, too.
“Could ye not watch with me one hour?” He pled.
But sleep earned their devotion more than He
who slumbered, once, within a manger bed.
They loved Him, but they failed to understand,
though He had warned them clearly, in His way.
When Peter struck and smote a Roman’s ear,
Christ healed the grievous wound without delay.
For He would bow Himself beneath us all
and heal the wounds by our own sins laid bare.
The day had come; just One could pay the price
for every soul whose burden He would share.
The great and dreadful reckoning was nigh…
the final act for which He had been born:
when love would overcome the bonds of death
and mercy be returned for hate and scorn.
Meekly, Christ gave Himself into the hands
of greedy men who hungered for His life.
His goodness and His honor mocked them all
and flayed their sanctimony like a knife.
Abusing Him in body, mind and soul,
His people judged Him blasphemer, not King.
They looked to Roman rule to kill their Lord
by means that promised untold suffering…
To crucify, not stone, the very One
whose agony would save them from their own.
What irony that He, to save the world,
would tread the bitter winepress all alone.
When Pontius nor Herod would condemn,
the people chose Barabbas over Him.
Then was He scourged and stripped and crowned with thorns,
His innocence reviled from limb to limb.
No mark of disrespect was deemed too foul,
though He accepted all with kingly grace.
No hand of kindness dried his bleeding brow;
no voice defended Him, nor pled his case.
Instead they jeered and followed His advance
to Calvary, Golgotha also named;
Christ’s hands and feet were nailed upon the cross:
The Lamb of God, bloody but unashamed.
The shame belonged to others––and the guilt.
Naught but a few emerged with hands still clean.
Peter denied Him thrice; disciples fled.
But John was there, to grace the final scene.
And Mary, too, and others of good heart.
“Behold, thy mother!” … Christ was heard anew.
His thoughts, in death, were for another’s care.
“Father, forgive…They know not what they do.”
Oh, God, my God, hast Thou forsaken me?
In Father’s absence, Jesus had to own
the sins of all the world, without relief;
He paid the ransom for our souls, alone.
And when, at last, He uttered, “It is finished.”
Into Thy hands, my spirit I commend.
He willfully surrendered life for love,
so mercy could serve justice, in the end.
His followers had still not understood;
they mourned Him as if everything were lost.
Christ promised He would rise again, and yet…
they saw but darkly, torn by grief and tossed.
The women went to honor Him once more.
An angel came; the stone was rolled away.
At first, they grieved to find His body gone
and looked upon the angel with dismay.
Where was their Lord? Had evil men conspired
to steal the body and defile His flesh?
But when the angel spake, their fears were stilled,
despite the sting of death…the wounds, so fresh.
“He is not here, for He is risen.” Lo,
“He goeth before you into Galilee.”
Departing hence, the women saw Christ’s face
and fell before His feet on bended knee.
In glory, He appeared to His disciples
and bade them touch His hands and feet and side.
Their minds and hearts were pierced, deeply as He was,
for truth had been revealed and sanctified.
His resurrection meant that Death was vanquished.
The door was opened wide; He held the key.
His sacrifice atoned for all God’s children,
from Eve and Adam…through eternity.
Christ’s gift to us is sacred and enduring:
His saving blood, the only peace we find.
In word and deed, forever we’ll revere Him––
The Lamb of God, Redeemer of mankind!
“…I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me,
though he were dead, yet shall he live.” -John 11:25