There’s no blame in this man,” Pilate had said.
“My hands won’t be guilty of the blood to be shed!”
To Sanhedrin he gave him to put him on trial:
To calm the Jews’ uproar was Pilate’s denial.
All night long mobs had robbed him and cursed him and mocked him,
They heckled, they jeered, they taunted, they flogged him.
“He’s guilty of perjury; claims he’s God’s Son!”
As written in Scripture, God’s will would be done.
In the morn he was carrying his cross up the hill,
Bleeding and hurting but doing God’s will.
In the hour of death in anguish he cried:
“My Father in heaven, have you forsaken you child!”
At the last meal they’d shared, he fev’rishly said: “I’ll die and will rise; to Hades I’ll go!”
His friends were perplexed, some even said so.
“For three days be gone, then coming back here –
Don’t waver in faith; God’s Kingdom is near!”
Like the unblemished Lamb brought to slaughter at dusk, He died among sinners.
He bought them from bondage, on the Hill of the Skull.
Before nightfall, however, as prescribed by the Law,
His body was buried – unwashed, not anointed – as foretold long before.
On the third day of Pesach, just after the feast,
Morn had just broken with a shimmer in the east,
an angel appeared like sun’s fire at dawn
and broke the grave’s seal, before a sword could be drawn.
The sentries on guard were stricken with fear:
“Were the rumours then true of a God that would die,
be dead for two days and in flesh re-appear?”
That weird things were happening, they couldn’t deny.
With wings on their feet, they ran through the garden
To the Sanhedrin they fled: “This ain’t part of the bargain!”
“Like a Phoenix from ashes, He rose from the death!
The Nazarener’s alive! We’re not wasting our breath!”
The elders were worried; their plans were askew:
Théý, tóó, went to the garden, to the grave of the Jew.
With their own eyes they saw it, the stone rolled away
And inside the grave, no sign of decay.
With their own eyes they saw it, but would never admit it.
Deny it! Reject it. Hist’ry must omit it!
Like idols of stone, their eyes were unseeing
Their hearts – no compassion: turned away from the scene.
When eyes are not seeing and hearts are unmoved –
unyielding like rock – no truth can be proved.
Then truth remains hidden; the wonder unseen
‘cos stonehearts can’t answer the call of the King.
Though truth may be buried and sealed off with stone,
It can never be silenced – the Truth will be known!
The years may go past and nations may perish
But the promise of Peace we always will cherish.
Women, leaving the garden with a song in their heart
had a message for those who believed from the start:
The Messiah has risen for gentile and Jew.
Let God’s Son now bring peace, both for me and you too.
Susan Williams, February 2019
(With thanks to John Hofmeyr, for his input)