Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Lamb Upon a Cross

For Thursday, March 3, 2016

Until Resurrection Sunday

The following poem is one of my earliest. It sprang from what I believe to be a miracle. One Friday, late in 1991, I was sitting at my desk at my job at Kearfott in West Paterson, NJ. Suddenly, an image flashed before my eyes. It was a lamb upon a cross, a real lamb the color of cocoa. Its head was turned to the side and its eyes looked down at me. I believe this vision was a representation of Jesus and I knew I would write a poem about what I saw, the Lamb, crucified. Later that evening my husband and I went to Beth Israel Worship Center, our place of worship. I saw a woman I knew. Her name was Elaine. We began talking when I noticed she was wearing a chain around her neck with a small, but striking replica of a real lamb affixed to a Star of David. She explained to me that she had the piece of jewelry custom made. It was a platinum lamb over a gold Star of David etched with a wood-grained design. She told me that the wood-grain represented the Cross. So there it was for the second time that day, the Lamb upon a Cross. I knew then that my poem would begin with Passover. The poem follows.

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O look upon the innocent,
The unblemished lamb,
Slain at twilight
As God decreed
Through Moses.
See its blood
Upon the doorposts,
Upon the lintel.
The Israelites
Consume it
Along with bitter,
Bitter herbs,
Reminiscent of affliction.
They eat hurriedly,
Prepared for departure,
Loins girded,
Sandals on their feet,
Staff in hand,
The lamb within.
Look upon the foreshadows.
See their hazy shapes
Coming into focus...
It’s the Passover
Of the Lord.

God struck
His mighty hand
Against Egypt,
And the firstborn
Of man and livestock
Were slain.
As God looked
Upon the lamb’s blood
On the doorposts,
On the lintels,
He passed over
The Israelite dwellings.
He delivered
His chosen -
Saved by the blood
Of the Lamb.
Look upon the foreshadows.
See their hazy shapes
Coming into focus...
It’s the Passover,
The Holy Passover
Of the Lord.

O look upon the Innocent,
The Unblemished One,
The Lamb upon the Cross,
Slain in unison
With the other lambs
At Passover.
See the crimson Blood
Trickling down

 The thorn-crowned Face,
Streaming from the hands
And feet.
See the iron spikes,
The gaping stripes,
The Suffering Servant.
Look into the Face
Of the Lamb,
The Atonement
For all sin.
It’s the Passion,
The Holy Passion
Of the Lord.

The Redemptive Lambs
Meet in the foreshadows.
Their shapes
Come into focus.
They are One.
The precious Blood
Of the Lamb
Upon the Cross,
Redeems the world -
We are saved
By the Blood
Of the Lamb.
It is finished.

O look upon
The Glorious One,
The Lamb standing
As if slain.
Hear the multitudes
“Worthy is the Lamb
Who was slain
To receive power
And wealth
And wisdom and strength
And honor and glory and praise!

...To Him who sits
On the throne
And to the Lamb,
Be praise and honor
And glory and power
For ever and ever!”[1]


[1] Rev. 5:12-13 (N.I.V.)

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