Promises are easy to believe when things are going well, When every ear wants to hear the truths you’re offering to tell, When the crowds are cheering, and coming near from far and wide, Miracles abound and life comes back to those who died;
But when the mob turns violent and screams in rage at Christ your Lord, Mighty Rome is on their side and stands with endless gleaming swords, The one you thought would save you is scourged and beaten half to death, Those promises can easily seem like an empty shibboleth.
When He hangs there, maimed and spent, His lifeblood flowing from each tear, The jeering, leering audience fills your heart with more despair. Last week’s words of hope and life are lost amidst the awful sight, All thoughts have turned to how to hide and survive the coming night…
Promises are easy to believe when things are going well, Not when your world’s transforming into a seething, living hell; Amidst the chaos, turmoil and the terrifying noise, Remember what he promised in his calm and loving voice.
The most innocent of all of us was ruthlessly betrayed
Publicly humiliated, tortured, torn and flayed
Forced up a hill to be upon it gruesomely displayed,
Yet most distressing was the message that this act conveyed.
It wasn’t because he was weak that this could all occur,
In fact he with this horrifying treatment did concur;
He had a throng of angels at his very back and call,
Yet told them to stand down and let him undergo it all.
Even when abandoned by his closest friends and kin,
Even when guards beat and mocked him with malicious grins,
Even when the shards of bone dug deep well past his skin,
Even when they laid him down and drove the nails in,
Even when exposed for hours in the burning sun,
Even when it looked as if his work had been undone,
Even when the powerful sneered and hurled insults his way,
Even when his loving Father had to look away,
He accepted every injury, permitted every slight,
Submitted to each sinful man’s full rage against the light.
Not once did he protest or use his ample lordly might,
Since this was how he paid the price so things could be put right.
This is one of the first songs I ever wrote, with a very simple haunting guitar accompaniment (stretching my very poor guitar skills to the limit). I was sure I had it written down somewhere but couldn’t find it, so have reconstructed it from what I remember. It is about Good Friday, which is today. If I can get them finished in time, I hope to have a poem about Easter Saturday up tomorrow, and one about Easter Sunday the day after, we’ll see how that goes. Continue reading →