One Easter I was reading Bruce Marchiano’s book ‘In the Footsteps of Jesus’ in which Bruce recounts the story of the filming of Matthew. Bruce’s description of the three crosses on the hillside and the response of the people to the scene – which was after all a movie set – moved me to tears. Later, when I was sitting thinking about it I suddenly knew I had to pick up a pen and paper. I wrote this poem in less than ten minutes. The words, together with the tears, poured out of me. Only when I read it did the message the poem delivers become apparent to me. God loves me! God loves you! Today, on this Good Friday, may you have a fresh understanding of the way God demonstrated His love for you – just for you – on that day so many years ago.
He struggles up the hill beneath his heavy load,
Covered in dirt, and blood, and spit.
Man-handled by soldiers bored at the tedium of it all;
Jeered at, mocked, by those around.
Nose smashed to pulp, flesh raw, unrecognisable;
And still he struggles on,
Ever up the hill towards an end
Of excruciating pain, humiliation, rejection,
Total isolation, when even the Father turns away His face.
Even the Father …
Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?
My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
… even the Father …
‘Why? Why?’ screams Creation.
‘Scripture tells He is the Son of God,
Why not summon legions of angels?
Why not fight, resist, destroy?
Why suffer this agonising pain?
This awful death?
Because He loves you.
The Son of God,