Cross Words: The Third ~ Behold

Cross Words - Day 3 - Behold

“Cross Words” is a seven sonnet sequence based on one word from each of the seven last sayings of Christ on the cross (see all here).

March 31, 2015

When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household. ~John 19:26-27

BEHOLD

“Behold!” The word resounded with command.
“Behold!” he shouted, “Look upon Your King.”
Pilate reasoned they would understand;
The Son of Man stood waiting to be seen.
They nailed Him to a cross on Calvary,
Below Him, mother and beloved friend.
Others waited, hoping they would see
One last thing to behold before the end.
He looked to Mary, “Woman, behold your son.”
His tender eyes assured; it was enough.
To John, “Behold, your mother as your own.”
His last appeal, in dying, simply love.
“Behold, the Lamb of God,” who takes our sin,
The humble King, unseen, His reign begins.

(c) 2014 Clay Clarkson

Cross Words: The Second ~ Paradise

Cross Words - Day 2 - Paradise

“Cross Words” is a seven sonnet sequence based on one word from each of the seven last sayings of Christ on the cross (see all here).

March 30, 2015

And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your Kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” ~Luke 23:42-43

PARADISE

An angered heart hard to heaven’s voice
Vainly strains against encroaching night;
Spirit raw and stripped of all but noise,
Darkness closing in he mocks the Light.
Another, knowing life will soon be done,
Rebukes the dark, reaching past reproach
To the One who spoke of Kingdom come,
His heart a wrecked and worn but open road.
Between them, Jesus, dying for dying men,
Speaks hope only a humbled heart can hear,
A gentle voice above a deathly din
Promising that Paradise is near.
The Carpenter with bloody nails in hand
Is building mansions in a better land.

(c) 2014 Clay Clarkson

Cross Words: The First ~ Forgive

Cross Words - Day 1 - Forgive

“Cross Words” is a seven sonnet sequence based on one word from each of the seven last sayings of Christ on the cross (see all here).

Sunday, March 29, 2015

When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. ~Luke 23:33-34

FORGIVE

Just another body to be broken
With callous disregard, a duty done.
The soldiers kill with nails, a deadly token
Of sacrifice borne by the suffering Son.
“Father,” as the mallets fall, “Forgive them.”
“They know not what they do.” They would not hear.
With every bloody death by crucifixion
Their wounded hearts are scarred beyond repair.
They strip Him of His dignity and clothing,
Casting lots for garments cast aside.
But Jesus prays, “Forgive them,” even knowing
There will be no repentance in their pride.
The King, unrobed, wears all the guilt of men:
A blood-sewn cloak to cover naked sin.

(c) 2014 Clay Clarkson