“With loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. So Pilate decided to grant their demand.” (Luke 23:23-24)
“Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he said this, he breathed his last.” (Luke 23:46)
No law can withstand human demands.
No governor forestalls foregone conclusions.
We stand amidst the crowd, shouting
for the death of our God to satisfy
our thirst. With no words for the crowd
and no words for Pilate, Jesus submits
meekly to the grinding gears. No tears
now from the King who is not of this world.
No harsh rebuke of a holy and awesome God.
No one leaps to His aid. No angels descend
from the skies. No one stops what has now
been set into motion. The cold, cruel world
reaches out for destruction, but still,
even still, there is divine intention.
Hidden – within and without – from our eye,
God is working, transforming our reality.
* * *
Without fanfare, the King of Glory is pinned
with gory force upon the beams of wood.
The people watch with voiceless stares.
The sneering rulers speak their fears.
The soldiers mock with maiming force.
Overhead the notice speaks sharp
truth: this is the King of the Jews.
With no apparent human heroism,
His snapping skeleton – a bloody body –
hangs heavy as God’s heart becomes a wound
opened wide with welcome for all who wash
their weary selves within its messy flow.
Still now He hangs at God’s cross purposes
as holiness and grace collide with fire.
The vulture views the spectacle and waits,
as all earth’s air is drained out of God’s lungs.
* * *
In the clamoring cacophony
echoing around the execution,
unseen divine intimacy unveils
to human eyes and ears.
His heaving body, suffocating
with evil, wheezes out a prayer:
pleading, surrendering, commending.
The drama of humanity’s weakness
and God’s strength transfixed at
the crossroads, takes a hard
turn into unexpected avenues
as Messiah gasps, shudders and dies.
Darkness descends and everyone
gapes in stunned silence:
‘What have we done?
What has He done?’