At my church service this morning, we had various different ‘stations’ through which to worship, pray, or reflect. There was a communion table, a short film, a cross to which we could pin pieces of paper, and there was a poem/story table. In advance, I was one of the people asked to write something to go on the wall – basically any perspective on the Passion. I chose to write something from the perspective of a man who’d been in the crowd on Palm Sunday and at the Crucifixion – and I thought I’d share it here too.
I am an ordinary man,
And more I would not want to be.
The streets throughout Jerusalem
Are filled with people just like me.
On Sunday I joined with the rest,
And laid my branches on the ground,
And saw him – and was unimpressed;
This man who passed without a sound.
No chariot? No royal throne?
No golden cloak or signs of wealth?
He rode a donkey like my own –
The twin of that I ride myself.
A short time later, tables turned,
Almost (it felt) in the same breath,
This so-called king (I quickly learned)
Was praised no more, but sent to death.
Again, I settled with the crowd;
A spectacle to pass the time.
Again, I shouted, just as loud.
The punishment must fit the crime.
But what, I wondered, had he done?
Why didn’t he put up a fight?
He told the priest he was the Son.
It struck me: what if he were right?
What kind of god, what kind of king,
Is strung up for a killer’s fate?
But still, in spite of everything,
I sensed him giving love to hate.
I watched, in awe, as night grew nigh,
And waited, and grew more perplexed.
“It is finished!” I heard him cry –
And yet he died! What next? What next?