From a sonnet cycle on the seven sayings of the cross.
He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6-9
He gave his back to beatings by the men
who pulled his beard and spat on him that day;
This is what the prophet had foretold:
A man of sorrows on whose shoulders lay
the sins of those who mocked or turned aside
from the silence and the slaughter of the Lamb.
And yet it was the Father’s will to see
him pierced by nails in both his feet and hands.
He took our selfish passion and our pain
and purchased joyous peace for all who ask.
Then when he knew the Scriptures were fulfilled
he rested from his great redemptive task.
“It is finished.” That is what he said.
Then he went to offer freedom to the dead.
©2001, Wally Metts
“Easter illustration”, limited edition wood print by Bill Bippes, acquired 2001. Used by permission. All rights reserved.