From a sonnet cycle, based on the seven sayings of the cross.
Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
Above his head they placed the written charge;
His own friends fled while insults filled the air.
Soldiers claimed his clothes by casting dice;
the crowds began to shout “come down from there.”
“He trusts in God, let God deliver him,”
the elder, priests and teachers laughed and mocked:
“You said you were God’s Son, so where is God?”
They jeered until the earth began to rock.
The sky turned black. His Father looked away.
Then a solemn, silent desolation fell.
The pain that Jesus felt was not the nails,
but a long and lonely tortured taste of hell.
He cried in fear, “eloi, lama sabacthini:”
Why, my God, have you forsaken me?
©2001, Wally Metts
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