Christ’s blood seeped from the puncture wounds the thorns produced around his head. His blood ran freely from the scourging that tore apart his back and torso. It gushed from his side slashed open by the soldier’s spear. His bright red blood mingled with death’s morbid, black shroud that afternoon on Calvary’s infamous hill.
But during the somber three days following that seemingly fatal failure, that precious red blood inundated the black of death — mixed with it and overcame its fearful depths — and thus created the regal color of victory. And purple reigns forever, the color of royalty upon the throne of the universe. Salvation is complete.
Those of you who visit both this site and my ‘Hangin’ Out With God’ site, will notice that today I’ve chosen to post the same response to the prompt on both. I hope you don’t mind.
To participate in the prompt visit Daily Post.
Are you buried deep in sorrow
Over past and hurtful wounds?
Has the weight of your own failures
Left you feeling failure-doomed?
Has the peril of the systems
Of the economic sphere
Left you beaten down and overwhelmed
And buried under fear?
Has the rampant spread of sickness,
Diagnosis of sure death,
Left you reeling in confusion,
Condemned to draw your final breath?
Then look away: from all the darkness,
From the death and fear and pain.
Hear the rumble of the tombstone
As it rolls from off the grave.
See the lightning flash of glory
As the Son begins to rise,
As He steps from death’s dark dungeon:
The successful sacrifice.
Hear Him say, “The curse is broken!
I have come to give you life.
Ask of Me, and I will answer;
I have victory for your strife.
I’ve a storehouse of provisions;
I have healing for your pain;
I’ve forgiveness for your sin,
And I can make you clean again.
“For as surely as I died for you,
Took all your sin on me,
So My resurrection power is yours;
Enough to set you free.
There is no price;
It’s for the taking.
But the only place you’ll find it
Is in Me.”
How deep and dark the grave in which they laid the Lord.
And naught to give Him hope except the Father’s Word.
But ’twas enough, for God had said, “When day three comes,
You’ll rise with life anew and come again to Home.”
Throughout the vigil, silence reigned and men did mourn.
And in the halls of Hell, the demons, they did groan:
This man from off the cross had stormed their barriers staid.
Hell panicked at the word from Heaven: “The price is paid!”
Then Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man, stepped forth
And grasped the keys of Death and Hell with violent force.
Then rose through realms beneath to burst from earth and grave.
His shout of victory rang abroad: “Mankind is saved!”
Well, I started off okay with NaPoWriMo, but as the days progressed, I haven’t kept up my end of the challenge. I don’t think I need to make that one of my goals this year. However, I do have a similar goal, though shorter. I am setting myself the task, during Passion Week, of writing one poem a day about the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. I want to focus in some special way on His suffering and death, and then His glorious victory and resurrection for my sake.
I can’t think of a better way than to create a poem every day from today – Palm Sunday – through Resurrection Day – Easter Sunday. In fact, since much of the church in several parts of the world celebrates Easter Week (the week following Resurrection Day), I think I will even write a poem for Easter Monday of that week as well.. I hope these poems add to your commemoration of our Lord’s loving sacrifice and to your celebration of His glorious salvation.
Here’s Today’s Poem:
A shackle placed upon the brow.
And scarlet robe on shoulders bowed.
The tortuous, mutilating pain.
To give me peace and health again.
To execute the Father’s plan.
Now empty stands:
He’s paid the price for every man.
Jesus the Christ: “… There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.” (Acts 3:12).
There is no other “religion” on the face of the earth — no other religious leader — no other dogma — no other doctrine — no other system of belief — that offers man the guarantee of salvation from his own sinfulness and from this cursed world — into a life of eternal joy and freedom from all that harms and destroys.
Every other system of religion offers man a life of working, struggling, straining, following rules, and sacrificing in an effort to earn an eternity on a higher plane. But even in the midst of the working and sacrificing, the disciple of those religions is never confident of his eternal rewards. He has a hope that he may get those rewards if he’s good enough — but he has no guarantee — no promise.
Only Jesus — Yeshuah — the Christ — the Messiah — offers man a guaranteed eternal salvation that is a free gift. “God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son (Jesus), that whosoever believeth in Him should … have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world, through Him, might be saved.” (John 3:16-17).
Only Jesus offers His own perfectly-lived life, His own suffering, His own sacrifice, His own death, and His own resurrection for the sake of those who follow Him. He paid the price; He won the reward: That reward was eternal life with the Creator of the universe and the right to impart that life to anyone who would receive Him and the work He accomplished on their behalf.
The price was paid by Him alone. So the reward of eternal life with God is in His name alone. If any of the other religious leaders of the world had paid the price for us, we could be saved by following them. But the simple truth is that they did not. And that’s why all those religions can do is tell us we need to live better lives and follow a bunch of rules and make continual sacrifices of one kind or another in the hope of finding a better eternity after we die.
Why would anyone follow after the teachings, the dogmas, the doctrines of a belief system that requires them to struggle and strain and perfect themselves in order to have a slim hope of something better, when Jesus the Christ stretches out His nail-pierced hands and offers eternity with the God of the universe for free?
Perhaps it’s our ego — our self-righteous belief that we can ultimately be our own savior — that makes some of us choose a belief system that forces us to try to do all the work ourselves — to “earn” the hope of a better eternity. But what a waste. When we could be living a life free from the fear of missing the mark somehow. We could be living a life filled with the joy of knowing for sure that we are moving toward a glorious eternity and amazing rewards and blessings from the Creator of the universe. Knowing that the end of the race is guaranteed makes running it so much easier.
Jesus the Christ is risen. He’s alive. And He’s offering the guarantee of eternity with God to every human being on the face of the earth — paid for by Him. That is why “there is no other name under heaven, that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.”
Most of my life I have been enthralled with the theme of Elizabeth Barrett’s poems that speak to Robert of how his love saved her from death. Being a poet myself, I decided one day that I would like to re-affirm that theme in a piece of my own creation. The sonnet is not my personal forte (although I have written one or two over the years) so I have not tried to emulate that particular medium. But I decided to try to express in my more comfortable style of verse what I believe is the substance of what Elizabeth and Robert experienced together, as well as what I believe to be the root source of that substance.
Invaded by pure Love, Death must submit,
And bow its ugly head and bend its knee.
As the target of a perfect marksman must take the hit,
So Death, in spite of struggling, had to set me free.
Though pressing down to close my coffin lid,
Death was thrust back by power: your love for me.
King Jesus led the way in warring thus.
He came with love so pure it pierced the gloom.
And taking on Himself the curse sin brought to us,
He opened up the way to enter our own tomb,
And facing Death, He said, “Your time is up.
My love strikes death to Death. Now Life will bloom.”
Even so, He seems to’ve passed His love to you,
And coming now upon me, frail and spent,
You have not wasted time in wondering what to do,
But instantly to my own lifeless heart you bent,
And kissed my lips with love as with sweet dew,
Dissolving Death. Now Life arises — permanent!
© Sandra Conner 2009
Photo: Jon, pdphoto.com