A Poem for Good Friday
down the Jerusalem road;
Yet another Passover,
but a lamb I could not afford.
To celebrate our deliverance from bondage
and the Lord’s covenant of old
with Jacob and Joseph and Moses
and the stories I was told-
of the ten plagues sent on Egypt,
because of pharaoh‘s hard heart,
of the lamb’s blood on the doorpost,
that caused the angel of death to depart.
To celebrate my people’s victory,
and our Lord’s covenant with Abraham,
I too wished to partake,
of the blessed Passover lamb.
I hastened to the temple
with the same hope as every year,
that some kind folk would adopt me,
and include me in their Passover cheer.
The narrow streets seemed narrower still,
as the crowds pressed in unusually that day,
with a large number of Roman guards,
lined up along the sides, all the way.
“Is Caesar coming?” I asked one of them,
He replied, “Sir, where have you been?”
Do you not know that this is the day,
we crucify Jesus the Nazarene?
Of Jesus, in my far country,
quite a fame had spread,
for we had never heard of another
who healed the sick and raised the dead.
While in contemplation, I heard a soldier shout-
“You get out of the way,
the procession is coming about!”
I stepped aside to make way,
and looked up ahead
to see a man so badly flogged,
he might as well be dead.
A crown of thorns on his head,
he was bound with a rope
a Roman soldier dragged him around,
much like the cattle or goat.
A weak frame so battered,
such as I had never seen,
could he really be the one?
Jesus the Nazarene?
The one who made the blind men see
and the mute men talk,
Look at him now-
he can barely walk.
Two criminals trudged behind him,
bearing their cross all the way,
while Simon helped carry Jesus’ cross,
he was from Cyrene they say.
Outside the city they pierced him,
nailed him to the tree,
on the mound of the skull-
the mound of Calvary.
The chief priests hurled insults,
the soldiers, they mocked-
“He said he is the messiah,
a bunch of nonsense talk!”
If he is the Son of God, let him use his power,
let him call upon the Lord to save him at this hour.
To my uttermost amazement,
I saw affection in his eyes,
He lifted his heart to Heaven,
“Father forgive them!”1 he cried.
One thief hurled insults at Jesus,
The other thief asked, “why this assault?
We deserve what we are getting
but what is this man’s fault?
Remember me when you establish
your kingdom, my Lord!”
“Tonight, you will be with me in Paradise”, said Jesus,
“you have my word.”
“The stripes, the nails, the crown of thorns,
all for you I wear;
My blood is shed this day for you,
give me your darkness, your cares.”
The wicked thief died in peace,
and Jesus bowed his head,
“Into your hands I commit my Spirit2
Father God,” he said.
The earth shook, the curtain of the holy altar
in our temple, was torn in two;
In my heart, I heard God whisper,
This is the lamb for you.
His body that is bruised,
the blood that flows from his side,
cleanses you from a guilty conscience,
that in freedom you may abide.
Many Passovers would come and go,
but no lamb would I ever need,
for the blood of Jesus Christ is
my atonement indeed.
1 Luk.23:34; 2 Luk.23:46
Copyright (c) 2018 Once There Was Jesus- The Greatest Stories Retold, Pooja Chilukuri