Friday, March 31, 2023

Beneath the House of Caiaphas


Until Resurrection Day

Hole to the dungeon beneath the House of Caiaphas.

Photo credit: Dr. Jeffrey & Angie Goh


Israel Pilgrimage—2006


There is a pit

that was beneath the House of Caiaphas

a once dark, dismal, terrifying hole

into which prisoners

were lowered by ropes

under their armpits


Our Lord Jesus likely

was brought here directly

from the Garden of Gethsemane

on the night He was betrayed by Judas


The scene seems less horrific today

than when I was here in 1986

Then, it was easier to imagine

a terrifying incarceration

of a prisoner, especially

an innocent prisoner, alone

amid ominous dampness and vermin

in the very bowels of the earth


The pit is located beneath a church now—

The Church of Saint Peter of Gallicantu

(of the cock’s crow)

named for where in the courtyard

Peter denied knowing Jesus three times


It’s been spiffed up—

It’s brighter. The descent, easier

It’s not nearly as dismal


but, back in eighty-six

as Wayne Monbleau read Psalm 22

in that detestable dungeon


…they pierced

my hands and my feet.

I can count all my bones…[1]


I closed my eyes, and literally


imagining how terribly Jesus suffered

to wash my sins away


Maude Carolan Pych

[1] Psalm 22:17-18 NASB

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

by Maude Carolan Pych

is available online

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