In which the Lamb is a Lion and Our Saviour – a thief

by Craig on April 6, 2011

A decision eternal

prior to foundations
or planets or stars

The One who gives life
The One who is life
The One gives up his life

judged
mocked
weak
broken
the way is narrow
the way of this cross

starving
thirsty
tired
trial among shadows
condemned

a beam unbalanced
gnarled, jagged
splinters into flesh
upon a body broken
upon a back stained red

to a hill
to a destiny

ירושלים (Jerusalem)
העיר של שלום (city of peace)
הוא בכה לכם (he cried for you)

עיר של ציון (City of Zion)
היא מעשי הרצח ביאים (she murders her prophets)
אותה המשיח (and her Messiah)

היא בעל צר הדרך (she owns a narrow path)
את הדרך של צער (the way of sorrow)

masses surrounding
hordes and hatred

mocking, swarming, circling
vultures and crows
to the carrion
to the condemned

spears
swords
open the way

a spectacle observed
beam crushing down
full weight of sin
pushing to the ground

a cloud of witnesses
yet he is alone

the man of no sin
suddenly plunders
seizing what is not his

taking what belongs to others
taking what belongs to us
he sacks
and loots
he steals
what we own

For this man of no sin

our sin

is now his own

committing the crime
punished for ours

not hung with two thieves
but a third one himself
This Savior
is

a thief

He took

our sin

This thief is our Savour

And the Savior a lamb

But this lamb

is a Lion

and lions must hunt

and rip life from his victim
and stalk his prey

ripping apart

and tearing away

all life

from death

until death breathes no more

hands nailed
feet pierced
cross raised

lamb is slaughtered
sacrifice made

the Father turns away
a mother cannot

a mother must watch
stand with her son
die a thousand deaths
witnessing just one

It is finished
It is over
accomplished
It is done

…and then there is this. I cried as I read it. This I did not write…God did…

נִבְזֶה֙ וַחֲדַ֣ל אִישִׁ֔ים אִ֥ישׁ מַכְאֹבֹ֖ות וִיד֣וּעַ חֹ֑לִי
וּכְמַסְתֵּ֤ר פָּנִים֙ מִמֶּ֔נּוּ נִבְזֶ֖ה וְלֹ֥א חֲשַׁבְנֻֽהוּ׃

He was spurned and avoided by men, a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity, One of those from whom men hide their faces, spurned, and we held him in no esteem.

אָכֵ֤ן חֳלָיֵ֙נוּ֙ ה֣וּא נָשָׂ֔א וּמַכְאֹבֵ֖ינוּ סְבָלָ֑ם וַאֲנַ֣חְנוּ
חֲשַׁבְנֻ֔הוּ נָג֛וּעַ מֻכֵּ֥ה אֱלֹהִ֖ים וּמְעֻנֶּֽה׃

Yet it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured, While we thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted.

וְהוּא֙ מְחֹלָ֣ל מִפְּשָׁעֵ֔נוּ מְדֻכָּ֖א מֵעֲוֹנֹתֵ֑ינוּ מוּסַ֤ר שְׁלֹומֵ֙נוּ֙
עָלָ֔יו וּבַחֲבֻרָתֹ֖ו נִרְפָּא־ לָֽנוּ׃

But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins, Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed.

כֻּלָּ֙נוּ֙ כַּצֹּ֣אן תָּעִ֔ינוּ אִ֥ישׁ לְדַרְכֹּ֖ו פָּנִ֑ינוּ וַֽיהוָה֙ הִפְגִּ֣יעַ
בֹּ֔ו אֵ֖ת עֲוֹ֥ן כֻּלָּֽנוּ׃

We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way; But the LORD laid upon him the guilt of us all.

Isiah 53:3-6

Walking With Him toward Easter and linking with Ann

and because it’s a poem I am also linking up with

 

 

God Bless

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna April 6, 2011 at 11:13 am

I’m so enjoying Walk With Him Wednesdays and reading and learning from others… You expressed so creatively– this train of thought– our Savior is a thief is a lamb and then a lion devouring death… “It is done.” Amen!!

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Craig April 6, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Anna you got tangled in my spam blocker. I’m glad I rescued your words from there. Thank you very much for these kind words – you summed up my poem beautifully – I could never be so concise. Again Anna, thank you – and God Bless you.

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Lisa notes... April 6, 2011 at 11:20 am

Wow, Craig. You’ve done it again. You bring me into closer to the Cross and to the appreciation of the sacrifice there.

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Craig April 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Thank you Lisa – I was a little afraid it was too much – it went a whole different way than I planned – I mean to call Our Lord a thief!!!!! Eeeeek – it made me cringe – but he did take what belonged to us – bless his heart!!!! God bless you Lisa.

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Kris April 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Wow. Beautiful. May this seep into my core as I meditate on this truth. Thank you for this.

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Craig April 6, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Kris – my spam blocker had your comment trapped. I just got this now at 9 PM. Thank you for such a heartfelt comment. Really – thank you. I don’t write poetry very often – poems are hard – really hard. I’m glad you read this one. God bless you and keep you.

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Amy April 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I think “wow” sums it up. It is hard to live in a world where Easter is pink and white and yellow and sweetness and sentimentality when we who know The Truth struggle through images of blood and pain and loss and betrayal and excruciating agony — all for us. When we didn’t do anything to deserve it. And I am struck by the irony of the darkness one has to know so intimately in order to experience The Light that is life. Thank you for your words. For reminding me of His Word. And the importance of focusing on what was, and what is, so that I AM. God bless –

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Craig April 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm

I am so glad to hear the “wow”. This was a risky thing to post – not the expected fare – it even had me chilled a little – not at all in your words “pink and white and yellow and sweetness and sentimentality” – thank you for reading it with God’s eyes. God Bless you Amy.

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Christina April 6, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Amazing! Each word causes pause. Thank you.

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Craig April 6, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Thank you Christina – but seriously – poems. hate. me. I’m not sure if I have one more left for next week. Poems are hard!!!!!!! Thank you very much for your kind words. It was a risky post. No fluffy lambs to soften the impact. God bless you Christina.

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Michelle April 6, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Poems are hard!!!!!!!

But the best things in life are hard and worth it.

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Lauren April 6, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I have chills. That message from Isaiah never ceases to leave me in awe. As I read, I was reminded of the scene in “The Passion” where Jesus stumbles and Mary falls to the ground as well weeping – then she flashes back to a memory of him as a little boy. As a mother I can’t even imagine. My heart breaks when my son bumps his head or gets sick. To watch him be crucified? I can’t imagine. That He did this for us… undeserved grace.

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Craig April 6, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Lauren, thank you . I keep telling everyone I’m not a poet. Poets breathe stuff like this – I beg for mercy after each phrase. I’ve still not seen The Passion of the Christ – this year maybe. To think of the heartbreak of Mary – what Simeon said to her, “and a sword will pierce your heart” – I think of the spear – and Our Lord – and her heart – and mine breaks. I know the hearts you moms have – that’s why I write in this community. You know how her heart must have felt far better than I. Thank you for reading. God bless you.

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Jamie April 6, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Thank you for always commenting on my posts. Very few people even read my blog.
Thank you for that poignant poem. It was very thought-provoking. :)

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Craig April 6, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Jamie thank YOU. We are brothers and sisters – we need to support each other. It helps that your stuff is always good to read too (◠‿◠). And thank you for your kind words about the poem. It provoked MY thoughts – and I wrote it! God Bless you and yours. and thank you.

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Debra April 6, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Oh Craig, this is awesome! Never before – until reading this post today – have I understood the scripture likening Christ to a thief… as in 1 Thessalonians 5:2, “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.”
I wondered… why “thief” (of all things). And here you come along with such a vibrant depiction of Christ who became thief to steal our sins away! You put it in a whole new light here. A stroke of genius!

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Craig April 6, 2011 at 4:07 pm

You know I thought the very same thing as I was writing it Debra – we think alike – yay us ƪ(◠‿◠)╯

I was so afraid to do it too – so afraid to go too far – but it came very prayerfully – I was talking to Our Lord the entire time I wrote this. Which – as we know – since POEMS. HATE. ME. was about 5 hours too many. (◠_◠) I might actually enjoy poems if I could take my time with them – they are needy – like puppies! If I had a week to write this instead of a matter of hours – maybe poems don’t hate me – maybe they’re just needy. Poor poems. (◠‿◠)

God Bless you – and thank you Debra.

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Debbie April 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm

This is perfect, Craig . . .perfect for Him and what He went through for us, and perfect for us readers, to put us there. I loved that you likened Him to a thief. I love to see Him in new ways and this one is so fitting too . . .that He stole our sins. Thank you so much for spending all that time with Him and with this poem. I know He is using every moment of it to bring glory to Jesus.
God bless you, prayer-poet!

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Craig April 6, 2011 at 9:10 pm

I never thought of Our Lord – as a thief stealing our sins until I was writing this just before dawn. That didn’t come from me⇑ I really think I’d enjoy the poetry more – if I could spend about a year or so on each one. {smile} God Bless you Deb.

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Michelle April 6, 2011 at 7:53 pm

You say poems hate you. Yet you continue struggle with them, and fight the words into submission(!) and bring beauty from them. Even a harsh beauty, like today.

Thank you for the pictures you paint, and the tears you bring.

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Craig April 6, 2011 at 9:05 pm

You know I only do these because you like them – right? They still hate me – they leave me with nothing left. But since I know you’re going to like them…

God Bless you Michelle.

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Mama Zen April 6, 2011 at 7:57 pm

A very powerful write.

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Craig April 6, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Thank you very much. thank you – God Bless – you and the zen family and the zen zoo. {smile}

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keLi April 6, 2011 at 9:04 pm

mocking, swarming, circling
vultures and crows
to the carrion

great imagery there!

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Craig April 6, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Thank you KeLi – I see Jesus – I see him alone – even though so many were there. The crowds were like vultures, the ones who loved Jesus were silent – the rest? I see them as hateful – vultures and crows. Thank you so much for reading. God bless you and all of yours.

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Tracy April 6, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Very nice! I of course loved your use of Hebrew! :)

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Craig April 7, 2011 at 10:10 am

Is that what that chicken scratching is? Hebrew? I was wondering about that. (◠‿◠)
תודה רבה לכם, יברכך אלוהים (thank you and God Bless you) Traci ✡

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Dawn April 6, 2011 at 11:23 pm

I laid on my bed today with my 3-year-old grandson, Luke. I had my laptop and brought up your Laska blog on payshentz. I read it to Luke and we talked about being patient. He LOVED it!

But, I don’t think he loved it as much as I loved this poem. My, this is SO rich. Heaven touches earth here for me. The lamb is a lion, the Savior steals our sin, the father turns away, the mother cannot…so much imagery. I wish I had a bigger mind! Some day….

Thanks for redeeming this day for me,
Dawn

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Craig April 7, 2011 at 10:14 am

Thank you Dawn. And it makes me smile that your grandson loved it. One day a book maybe…

I already have a picture book written – in case anyone wants to publish it (◠‿◠)

I did smush a bunch of imagery in there – but I’ve had a whole lot of 1,000 part series lately – I decided not to make this poem another “to be continued” post. (◠‿◠) And Dawn – thank you for your kind words – today – and always. God Bless.

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Melissa S April 7, 2011 at 7:04 am

I was moved by this poem. And the scripture.
Thanks for the reminder to remember.

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Craig April 7, 2011 at 10:16 am

Thank you so much Melissa. Thank you for reading my words – and God’s Word. Thank you for reminding me that I need to be reminded too – we (read I) always forget – He is there, He is active, He is loving, and then there’s the forgetting – and never on His part. God Bless you and keep you Melissa.

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imperfect prose April 7, 2011 at 12:08 pm

full weight of sin
pushing to the ground

i felt the depth of your heart with this one, friend… such a holy heart, too, crying out for Jesus, only Jesus…. loved this.

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Craig April 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Emily thank you. I so respect your opinion. And my heart – it’s not so holy – but it is redeemed – and it tries hard, and it need to be intimately close with Our Lord otherwise it gets heavy. Thank you for visiting. God Bless and keep you. I’m not a poet – almost all of what I do is prose – and all of it – imperfect. Grace.

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Kati April 7, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Wow, I could really feel your heart in this: the heaviness, the intensity, the wonder.

But, one question, if I may: what was the message in comparing the father looking away with the mother’s suffering? It was interesting but I’m not sure I understood what you wanted to say…

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Craig April 7, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Thank you for reading Kati – and the question too. One point is heavenly theology and the other earthly reality. The first is Trinity – the Father turns away from sin – and for however long the “moment” was that Our Lord bore our sins, I think the Father and the Spirit – although still connected in that intricate and beautiful way of Trinity may have turned – I can explain that better if you want me to – I’m grateful for the question.

The second thing was how a human mom, who is not the Eternal God, and who loves her child can never take her eyes off of him or her. And though Mary may have wanted to look away – I think, knowing as many amazing moms as I do that she had to keep looking – probably constantly seeking eye to eye contact with her son. She would have held his hand or feet if the guards would have let her.

And The Father? Even though “turning away” – it doesn’t mean he didn’t suffer. There’s enough theology in this complicated answer to fill a book. I’ve studied enough so that the theology just kind of oozed out in the writing.

I think you just may have given me next Wednesday’s post by the way – thank you for that too!!!

I hope I’ve answered your question – and I thank you for bringing it up – and making me think more on it. If you want more – I can answer more – if you have something that might be helpful for me to know – I’m all ears – I learn so much from the people who read me – and you are now one – thank you very much – and God Bless.

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alittlebitograce April 7, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Those words of Isaiah resonate deeply within me. He knows our pain so well. This beautiful reminder quiets me.

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Craig April 8, 2011 at 10:04 am

It was those prophets just before the Exile of Israel, and during – they were the ones valiantly warning of – or witnessing the downfall of the kingdom. Desperate times – desperate words – emotional – all about the losing – but the promise of gaining what we cannot lose. I think that’s why the words resonate – they do with me too. Thank you for reading. thank you. and God Bless you.

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A. April 7, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Until now, I have always had a picture of a rather passive Jesus being led, not resisting, to the cross. Your poem shows how much Jesus was anything but passive. Taking…putting death to death…Jesus, the thief, the lion, the lamb. The lamb-the passive part? No, because He chose to be the Lamb. Wow. I am so glad you shared this with us!

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Craig April 8, 2011 at 10:09 am

Silent like a lamb, determined like a thief, courageous and strong like a lion. Thank you A. I still say that poems hate me though (◠_◠). God Bless.

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Connie Mace April 7, 2011 at 11:14 pm

To see words breathed by GOD…penned by Isaiah…scribed here in blood red Hebrew script…framed by more truth with your incredible poetry…wow

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Craig April 8, 2011 at 10:11 am

Thank you Connie, those are kind words. Isaiah’s words are powerful. No? And I’m not a poet – I don’t write many. This one ended up totally different than it began. Thank you for reading it. God bless you and all of yours. Thank you.

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