A Good Friday Poem


Come gather with me, brothers dear

I’ve longed to sit and dine

To eat my final Passover

With you I own as mine

 

My time, at last, is now at hand

And though I’ve told you so

I know you do not comprehend

The means by which I’ll go

 

The truth, so hard for you to hear

Is, one of you this night

Betrays me to my enemies

And then will take your flight

 

Each one, not knowing what this meant

Asked, Lord, could it be me?

The hand that dipped the dish with mine

He said, that one is he

 

Then Judas pressing further asked

Rabbi, am I the one?

And Jesus said, “it’s as you say”

The treason had begun

 

‘Tis then that Jesus took the bread

And broke it as He blessed

Take eat, this is my flesh

For you – He this confessed

 

And then He took the cup to Him

And giving thanks He said

This is My blood I give for you

For sin’s remission shed

 

Now do these in rememb’ring me

When I am gone from here

For I’ll have nothing more until

The Kingdom does appear

 

Then going out they sang a hymn

And to the Garden came

Where Christ in prayer so agonized

In unimagined pain

 

He prayed the cup might pass from Him

Three times, He cried it still

But more, He prayed – not as I wish

My Father, as you will

 

He prayed till angels strengthened Him

And heavenly succor came

Then prayed His own the Father keep

In God’s own holy name

 

Until at last the traitor came

With those who take by might

Betraying Jesus with his kiss

They bound Him in the night

 

And to the High Priest’s mocking courts

They dragged and beat and spit

Brought forth their lying witnesses

Whose stories did not fit

 

Then off to Pilate’s judgment hall

They dragged Him in disgrace

And pled to have Him crucified

The Lord and King of grace

 

Then sent to Herod’s gawking gaze

He stood, but gave no speech

Thus Herod sent Him back again

For Pilate to impeach

 

The spineless Pilate caving in

And care-less, gave the word

To let the brutal torturers

Perform what Christ endured

 

More mocking still and agonies

He suffered at their hands

Their wicked taunts to prophesy

And jump to their commands

 

No mercy pleas escaped His lips

Not one condemning cry

He suffered as deserving all

In willingness to die

 

Not one defense He offered up

As Calvary’s path He trod

No murmuring, no loud complaint

Just yielding to His God

 

Then on the cross, His seven words

Forgive them, they don’t know

And to the thief, today with Me

To paradise we’ll go

 

To Mary said: Behold your Son

John, make her your mother

Then: Father, you’ve forsaken me

More grief than any other

 

I thirst: He cried, in agony

It’s finished, then, He said

Gave up His spirit to His God

In death, then hung His head

 

But why no claims of innocence?

No word to change His fate

No syllable of self-defense

To set the record straight

 

Because, He took our guilt Himself

He bore it as His own

Though perfect in His righteousness

No sin had ever known

 

He willingly stood in my place

And took what I was due

And if by faith you trust His work

His blood redeems you too

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