With Holy Week now underway and Easter almost upon us, I thought it was a good time to dig out this post from last October.

Cross manAn ancient world of pain
A people bowed under the weight of cruel injustice and oppression
Living like strangers in their own land
Good people struggling to hope for a brighter future
Trying to make sense of how God could have let this all happen
When they have always done their best to be faithful to Him
Somehow believing, against all odds, that their faith will not be in vain
Waiting, hoping, watching for Messiah to come

And who is this baby lying in a smelly barn
The secret of his birth known only to his parents
Forced to flee in the night as the tyrant’s sword brings death to many like him
Growing in obscurity, just another country boy learning his father’s trade
As the world goes on and the suffering continues?
Doesn’t look like any Messiah I ever heard of

And who is this man, baptised as one of many
Wending his way through deserts and fields
No place of his own to call home
Creating a stir with his stories and feats
Bringing his message of hope before moving on
And leaving so many things unchanged?
Doesn’t look like any Messiah I ever heard of

And who is this would-be king, riding on a donkey’s colt
No sword in his hand, no crown on his head
Weeping as the crowds cheer him on
No tight-knit support group to organise his campaign
Only a ragtag bunch of dreamers, rogues and misfits?
Doesn’t look like any Messiah I ever heard of

And who is this despised one, hanging on a cross
A crown of thorns upon his bloodied head
Abandoned and denied by his followers
Publicly shamed and humiliated
Spat on and beaten half to death
Hope snuffed out, just like so many times before?
Doesn’t look like any Messiah I ever heard of

And who is this risen one, Light of the world
Living in the hearts of his children
Still bringing hope in the midst of pain
And joy where only sorrow has any right to be
Still refusing to play the world at its own game
Showing instead that there is a more excellent way?

Strange kind of Messiah
You could almost miss him if you didn’t know him

[ Image: Jes ]