Down from the Cross


Take him down,
And please be gentle:
He has suffered much today.
Spare those hands
From further tearing,
As we pull the spikes away.

Lift the crown
From his cold forehead;
Never was a King so slain.
Oh, to think
Our laws, our people,
Could have caused him so much pain!

Curse the thought
Of twilight justice
In that court of hate declared.
Oh, that one
Had better argued,
Better fought, to have him spared.

Not a rule
Of our procedure,
But was broken in the sham.
Jesus held
By ruthless slayers,
Silent, sacrificial lamb!

Brother, grief
Is now our portion;
Counsellors to crime are we.
Rue the day
Of our proud calling
To Sanhedrin’s vanity.

Carry him
As best we’re able,
Not a jostle, nor a jar.
He has borne
Our griefs and sorrows;
Friend, his tomb is not too far.

Thanks to God
For Pilate’s ruling,
For the right to take him there.
Hasty work
In cloths and spices,
Winding death ‘round one so fair.

All is done,
And none too early,
As the sabbath rest draws nigh.
Gentle Lord,
So long awaited,
Was it planned that you should die?

ISAIAH 53: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

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