Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lent Day 13: If he had faltered even once...

I am reposing this with permission from Kevin. I couldn't say it better. More of Kevin's poetry at Desiring God Blog (click link below).

Desiring God Blog
A poem to ponder during Lent:
They spit upon His meekness, 
And struck Him in the face. 
Their floggers swung with hatred; 
They stripped Him in disgrace. 
Deep worked the Roman anger 
That tortured Him, a Jew; 
Yet this His contemplation: 
“They know not what they do.” 
His people cheered “Hosanna,” 
Then had Him crucified. 
They freed corrupt Barabbas; 
To sentence Him, they lied. 
He hung outside their city, 
Where leaders mocked Him too; 
Yet this, the hurt He carried: 
“I would have gathered you.” 
No angels came to help Him 
When Heaven on Him fell. 
The Devil tried to reach Him 
Through ev’ry lie in hell. 
Unthinkable the anguish 
As Father crushed the Son, 
Yet this His firm conviction: 
“Thy will, not mine, be done.”
No selfishness, no hatred, 
No spitefulness was there. 
No unbelief, no cursing, 
No pity from despair. 
One sinful thought; one failure, 
And Love would not succeed. 
The ransomed souls of hist’ry 
Must His perfection plead. 
If He had faltered even once, 
In flames of hell would men abide. 
Then ponder Christ, and praise at length 
The strength of Him there crucified.
               -- K. Hartnett, May 2007
Kevin comments:

I wrote this one backwards, i.e. having the idea for the last four lines before writing the rest.  Verse one highlights Christ's physical sufferings; verse two, His emotional/mental and verse three, His spiritual.  The colossal irony that the very men who tempted Him to failure were among those He died in perfection to save captures my imagination - and praise.

Kevin Hartnett works for NASA at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, overseeing the science operations activities of the mission. He was selected in 2003 from a thousand candidates as the “Poet of the Year” by the Fellowship of Christian Poets.

Read more:
But now, this is what the LORD says
   he who created you, Jacob,
   he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
   I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
   I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
   they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
   you will not be burned;
   the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the LORD your God,
   the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Isaiah 43:1-3A     NIV

1 comment:

  1. This is a beautiful poem. Thanks to you for reposting it - and thanks to Kevin for letting you!