Category Archives: Reflections on Jesus

The Passover Lamb

A Poem for Good Friday

From a far country, I travelled

 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

Mathew 27:32-56

Copyright (c) 2018 Once There Was Jesus- The Greatest Stories Retold, Pooja Chilukuri

Mathew 27:32-56

A Good Friday Reflection by Jesus’ Mother Mary

Nothing Could Have Prepared Me For That Day

I will never forget that night when I received word:

“Mary! They have taken your son away

to try him before the chief priests and temple officials,”

Nothing could have prepared me for that day.

I had helped Jesus take his very first step,

yet he walked on the waters of Galilee’s sea;

I had danced with joy when he uttered his first word,

but it was he, who made the mute man speak.

He is the Lord’s chosen Messiah,

as the angel and the prophets have foretold;

I always treasured their words in my heart

which today, with fear, grows cold.

Signs and wonders followed my son,

He was filled with God’s spirit and power;

Yet, a foreboding I sensed deep within,

Was this that very hour?

The hour when my soul would be pierced

with too great a sword?

Apprehension seized my mind,

I remembered the prophet, Simeon’s, word.

We were in Jerusalem for the Passover,

the feast of the unleavened bread,

I felt my knees give way as I trembled,

with anticipation and dread;

What would they do with Jesus?

What were they plotting now?

The officials had planned his murder in times past,

but he escaped every time, somehow.

His disciples had brought word to me-

“He has allowed himself to be willingly bound,”

Could this be the plan of God, his Father?

In this mother’s heart, no peace could be found.

I heard they were taking him before Pilate,

What charge were they plotting to bring?

They were envious of my son,

for the masses had hailed him as their king.

They produced many false witnesses,

with whom, even Pilate could not reason;

“This rebel opposes Caesar, they cried,

charge him with blasphemy and treason!”

Under pressure from chief priests and elders,

Pilate ordered his crucifixion;

My heart ripped into a million pieces

at the announcement of this conviction.

They beat him most violently, spat and mocked,

to Mount Calvary, outside the city, they led him away,

half dead and unable to bear his cross,

Nothing could have prepared me for that day.

We followed him at a distance-

The other Mary, John and I;

My heart grew faint with each passing moment,

my son was going to suffer and die.

“O God of our Fathers give me strength,” I prayed,

“To be by Jesus’ side,

this burden is too great to bear,

let your strength, in me, abide.”

The nails that pierce his hands, his feet,

the crown of thorns on his brow,

I cannot bear to look upon his cross, O God,

pray give me all his agony somehow.”

Even in his hour of testing,

he looked with deep affection into my eyes;

pointing to John he said, “from now on this is your son,”

then he gave up his spirit and died.

My tears, which flowed ceaselessly,

dried up as my spirit grew numb;

I went with others, to where they laid him,

in the garden, in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb.

The following day being the Sabbath,

I could not perform his burial rites, that day;

On the morning after, when I rushed to his tomb,

the stone to the entrance had been rolled away.

His body was missing, I saw angels,

“He is risen from the dead!” they declared,

My disbelief gave way to joy,

nothing could have prepared me for that day.

Luke 23; Mathew 27, Mark 15, John 18

Copyright (c) 2015, Pooja Chilukuri, Once There Was Jesus- The Greatest Stories Retold.

Pooja’s Story

I was a devout Hindu, a sincere God seeker, a dutiful follower of rituals and traditions and committed to raking up good karma for my next life. A series of miraculous events led me to Christianity. Constant prayers, following Bible principles and seeking after God’s will for my life characterized my Christian life. So far, so good. However, as my religious striving and commitment to my church leadership increased, my vision of Jesus slowly faded away into darkness. I felt deeply disconnected from God, resulting in a state of spiritual “bankruptcy”. Thus ended my Christian life. What (or who) followed next, was outside the scope of my wildest imagination. His name is Jesus. 

By making my very personal and private spiritual journey public through my memoir, And Then There Was Jesus, I want to reach out to all those who have been spiritually damaged in their soul and disillusioned by God. I believe that there are many today who are disappointed and deeply hurt by the God whom they have served in spiritually “toxic” religious groups. Many of us have given up on religion and therefore given up on God, but God has not given up on us. I know that because He did not give up on me. My story is also a love story- A love story that is not for me alone. I wrote this book to let you know that you too are loved with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3)

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