Friday, April 22, 2011

"Darkness Came Over All the Land"

An Account of Jesus' Death from Matthew 27:45-51,54-56 :

 "From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land.  About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

 "When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”

 "Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

 "And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

 "At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open.

 "When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

 "Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph,and the mother of Zebedee’s sons

O God, we look at the death that was,
look at the time - unthinkable time -
when God lay dead and earth lay dark
and in all of time was nothing.
Nothing! The Absence in which You Were.
The Empty from which You Brought.
The Void which only Your Voice can Fill
and Shatter and Open.

And in that Nothing, You Were;
and out of that Nothing, You Came;
and we will the Truth of Your Death,
that ever You Come.

Come, Lord Jesus.

Image: "Deposition", painting by Jean Beraud, 1892. Image courtesy of
Poem: "Holy Saturday" by Tina Howard

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