“Silent, Still, and Cold”–A Poem for Saturday of Passion Week

On Saturday, the tomb was occupied with the crucified and dead body of Jesus the Nazarene. I wrote the following poetic reflection two years ago, but I’m including it in this week’s poetic Passion posts.

“Silent, Still, and Cold”
April 19, 2014 (first written April 7, 2012)
Saturday of Passion Week

On Saturday his body lay
Silent, still, and cold,
Entombed for one more night before
The stone began to roll.

Darkness seemed to triumph while
God the Son lay dead,
But in the morn his hands would pull
The cloth from ’round his head.

Disciples, now consumed with fear,
Did mourn their master’s death.
Yet joy would rise with Sunday’s sun
And new creation’s breath.

For one more night all hope seemed lost
As death claimed the last word,
But this second day would end with
Resurrection on the third.

 

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“A River Flowed”–A Poem for Friday of Passion Week

On Good Friday of Passion Week, Jesus died on the cross. Last year I wrote a poem about the cross, and I’m including it among the Passion Week poems I’ve been posting this year.

“A River Flowed”
April 18, 2014 (first written March 29, 2013)
Friday of Passion Week 

A river flowed, a crimson tide,
With mercy in its stream,
As Jesus Christ was crucified
By God through human scheme.

The sin he bore was not his own,
For ours he carried to
The wooden cross, the judgment tree,
To pay the wages due.

Hear him cry out “It is finished”
With his final breath,
For with this love he satisfied
God’s wrath and died our death.

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“See Him”–A Poem for Thursday of Passion Week

On Thursday of Passion Week, Jesus ate the last supper with his disciples, prophesied that they would scatter because of him, and prayed in Gethsemane with a soul full of sorrow. This is a poetic reflection on those events.

“See Him”
April 17, 2014
Thursday of Passion Week

See him in the upper room
With all of them together.
So much to say, so much to pray,
Before the night is over.

See him break the bread and say,
“My body, take and eat.”
Then the cup, raised up: “My blood
Poured out for you—now drink.”

See him warn them, “This night you
Will fall away and flee.”
Then Peter, louder than the rest,
Says, “Everyone but me.”

See him at Gethsemane
As he kneels to speak,
With sorrow in his holy soul
And friends whose flesh is weak.

See him fall upon his face:
“O Father let this cup
Pass from me, yet your will be done,
For you shall raise me up.”

 

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“Thirty Silver Pieces”–A Poem for Wednesday of Passion Week

Today is Wednesday, and we remember several events that occurred on that day during Passion Week. Particularly important was the agreement of Judas to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. This poem reflects on that agreement.

“Thirty Silver Pieces”
April 16, 2014
Wednesday of Passion Week

The chief priests and elders gathered together
To plot how they might arrest and kill Jesus,
For two days away was the start of Passover,
But no plan was certain until they saw Judas.

Into the palace of Caiaphas came
One of the Twelve in sinister stride,
And though Judas seemed to come in alone,
Satan himself was dwelling inside.

“What will you give me if I would betray him?”
They said, “You like silver? How ’bout thirty pieces?”
Then Judas agreed and gathered the sum
And looked for a time to turn over Jesus.

 

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Mount Sinai and Mount Zion in Hebrews 12:18-24

I agree with the scholars who see (in Heb 12:18-24) seven images reflecting Mount Sinai that are then contrasted with seven images reflecting Mount Zion. Here’s how that breaks down.

“For you have not come to
(1) what may be touched,
(2) a blazing fire
(3) and darkness
(4) and gloom
(5) and a tempest
(6) and the sound of a trumpet
(7) and a voice whose words made the hears beg that no further messages be spoken to them” (Heb 12:18-19).

Then a few verses later, “But you have come to
(1) Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,
(2) and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,
(3) and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven,
(4) and to God, the judge of all,
(5) and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,
(6) and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant,
(7) and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel” (Heb 12:22-24).

The stark contrast between Mount Sinai and Mount Zion is evident by the author’s use of seven images in both sections.

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“A Coming Day”–A Poem for Tuesday of Passion Week

Today is Tuesday of Passion Week, and on this day Jesus spoke parables and taught many things to his disciples and any crowds that gathered (see Matt 21-25).

“A Coming Day”
April 15, 2014
Tuesday of Passion Week

The disciples of the Lord beheld the fig tree dead.
“How did it wither?” they asked Jesus.
This is what he said:

“Faith—and if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed,’
You can cast it in the sea, for
Such prayer is approved.”

The temple in Jerusalem would not last forever,
For Jesus said, “No stone will be
Left on another.”

Jesus spoke in parables about a coming Day,
When all who scorn the Master’s Son
Shall be cast away.

The Son of Man will one day come, but the day and hour
No one knows, not even him, but
Only the Father.

Jesus taught about the judgment day and vindication,
When the nations gather to his throne
By resurrection.

In these teachings Jesus spoke with great authority
And answered questions aimed to stump him
Through absurdity.

Overcoming every challenge, Jesus showed his wisdom
And continued steadfast on his path
As Second Adam.

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“With Zeal and Holy Flame”–A Poem for Monday of Passion Week

Today is Monday of Passion Week, and on this day Jesus cursed a fig tree and cleansed the temple (see Matt 21, Mark 11, Luke 19).

“With Zeal and Holy Flame”
April 14, 2014
Monday of Passion Week

The temple courts were interrupted
By Jesus as he came
With zeal and holy flame
For God the Father’s name
That was dishonored there.

The holy temple housed the robbers
Who, from sinful vices,
Sold the sacrifices
At inflated prices
In that place of prayer.

He drove out the thieves and overturned
Every chair and table,
An act that was a symbol
Of judgment on the temple
And rebels everywhere.

Just like the fig tree that he cursed,
The people bore no fruit,
So he put ax to root,
And sinners resolute
Would soon his judgment bear.

 

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