From the Archives: Son of the Father (A Poem)

The old man’s fingers trembled
As his body took the strain
Not from the load he carried
But the weight of words that stained.
Words that robbed, words that cut
Words that tore and hung.
“My ways are not your ways Father
A new life I have begun”.

This soul’s ache, this tear, this throb
Had not always been this way.
Now his heart rolled back the clouds
To sit in brighter day,
When age and youth sat, as it were,
In unified desire
With single breath and matchless hope
Awaiting their Messiah.

Slow the years seemed as
Age and youth grew longer.
One content to object in quiet
While the other’s zeal grew stronger.
So here stands age, with trembling hand
Gazing from an empty door
His dreams had gone. His only son.
Just questions for what’s in store.

Years fell away with unspoken words
And memories of jaded dreams.
Whispers of Zealot’s who’d strike in the night,
Though not near enough it seems.
More whispers had passed of a Rabbi who spoke
Like none had done before.
But hopes of the Messiah had faded dim
When his son walked out that door.

Now the crowds gathering and then
Earth seemed to hold her breath,
And his chest gripped him tightly
From some impending silent death.
Now swept along like a fight
That cannot alone be fought
He finds himself standing on
The stones of Pilate’s court.

Both men thrust before the throng
Were bloodied, beat and torn.
Yet one stood calm and steady
The other, dejected, forlorn.
Now as his eyes see past the blood
Through all that time had done,
The old man stumbled and fought for breath
As his eyes beheld his son.

Passion for God’s purpose
Had born a bitter soul
Who wrenched the gavel from God’s hand
To meter out wrath’s bowl.
From Zealot to thief, he found
His misery unstemmed
Now more, a murderer –
Guilty. Convicted. Condemned.

So when the choice was given
Who would suffer the tree and die?
T’was the frail voice of an aged man
Who was the first to cry.
“Give us Barabbas, a father’s son,
I cannot lose him twice.
His sin is great, but he’s my son,
So the other must bear the price”.

As Pilate gestured toward the Priests
It was certain that death be done.
Now the words that cried above the crowd
Were to secure his only son,
“Crucify him, crucify him, He will not reign over me”.
Then the crowd joined voice with his
And sent Jesus to the tree.

Now age and youth sit once again
In unified desire
With single breath and matchless hope
Awaiting their Messiah.
It was the younger who now spoke with
Tears streaming down his face.
“Father, now I see, it was He
Who took my place”.

Now a different crowd had gathered
But still scared all the same
As people heard a thundering and
Beheld the Spirit’s flame.
They looked and saw just fishermen
Who spoke tongues of foreign men.
Then one stood up among them
Whose voice brought pain again.

The old man’s fingers trembled
As his body took the strain
Not from the load he carried
But the weight of words that stained.
Words that robbed, words that cut
Words that tore and hung.
“It was you who crucified Him!
By you this wrong was done”.

Before he knew it, without choice
He heard himself cry out
And what started as a whisper
Became a steady shout.
The crushing guilt of sin
Caused tears to cloud his view.
“Brother quick, please tell us now,
What is it we must do?”

Three thousand precious souls that day
Were saved from hell’s wide door.
The older and the younger too
Among the crowd who saw
The light of the gospel of the glory of Christ
As it were, in Jesus face
And bowed their head, and bent their knee
To the one who took their place.

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