So this is the day when his God does not answer;
how different this hour from the day of Christ's birth!
God spoke at his baptism and transfiguration,
but not when they lift up his Son from the earth.

No legions of angels, but devilish laughter;
no sound from the silence of heaven comes down,
no rescue from friends and no mercy from soldiers,
no last-minute sign and no hint of renown;

but only his thirst and the agonized crying;
yes, only the blood and the gasping for breath.
Completing his work that alone is sufficient;
the last dereliction, and darkness and death.

So this is the One whom his God has forsaken,
who takes all our sins in his flesh on the tree!
The Lord becomes sin, so that we may be holy;
he dies and he lives for the world, and for me.


Christopher Idle (b.1938)
© Christopher Idle / admin. The Jubilate Group
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