No story moves me so. No people sicken me so. No injustice enrages me so. No person enthralls me so. Jesus on trial. Jesus on the cross. No love amazes me so. No guilt pierces me so. No deliverance excites me so . . .
There he sits, Caiaphas in the Sanhedrin’s chamber
Deep inside the darkest hour of night
Grappling with the Truth bound up before him
Struggling to gather lies to slay Him
Who is called the very Son of God
Who cannot live if Caiaphas is to hold his position,
The foundation for his priesthood’s profit.
There he sits, Herod, drunk and spoiled by worldly power,
Hazy in his comprehension this ungodly hour
Holding audience on a throne already stained
With blood as if he were the king of the Jews
And not this Galilean peasant silent before him
Though he joke with his so-called friends asking
For a miracle that his hellish life has already rejected.
There he sits, Pilate, powerful yet pathetic, tortured
By the dilemma of pure innocence and wisdom
Who beaten, can hardly stand before him, though
Such eyes and such words haunt his mind
With truth that splits his heart with resonance
And truth he cannot admit to lest his hold
On power perish crucified, so his ambitions die.
There He hangs, the dying Savior on the Cross
that sets us free,
Condemned by the greed of Caiaphas and his cronies,
Ridiculed by Herod and his drunken sycophants,
Sentenced by the bloody hands of Pilate and the mob’s
Where you and I are standing hurling curses
While we writhe as if we were on a cross slain by sin
Until he prays stretched out for pity, “Father forgive . . .”
March 18, 2016
Luke 23: 24