• The Son comes up

    BY KEN EDGECOMBE


    It was dawn.

    People sleep at dawn.

    Except for those performing service tasks —

    Deliveries, street cleaning, preparing for the day —

    Or maybe those who have a lot to do,

    Or, sometimes, those who seek surprise,

    Who want to upset normal men

    And take them by surprise.

    It was dawn.

     

    The Sanhedrin had gathered there in strength,

    Early though it was.

    The high priest, the elders, the teachers of the law:

    A full parade, their purpose well defined,

    Their focus sharp,

    Their key outcomes fixed in sight.

    They brought invented evidence, so they could bring the prisoner death —

    A world of meaning in that “so”.

    There should be no doubt

    for anyone to know

    how this was turning out.

     

    They called a witness to the stand,

    And then another; many more.

    Poor simple clods: although they swore

    And testified on oath,

    Their stories clashed.

    Hope of agreement almost dashed

    Until two said, “We heard him say

    He’ll tear the temple down, and re-build it in three days.”

    And even then, the details wouldn’t gel.

    But they were close, so — what the hell.

     

    Caiaphas himself then took a hand.

    He asked the prisoner questions. No reply.

    It seemed like Jesus wouldn’t dignify

    Proceedings with an answer. The high priest’s band

    Leaned closer, and they heard him say,

    “I charge you under oath, Are you the Christ?

    Are you the Son of God? Are you the man?”

    And Jesus looked at him and said, “I am.”

     

    The tension eased, like puncturing a tube

    And now unveiled ugliness became the mood.

    “It’s blasphemy!’ the high priest shouted.
    “You heard it too!”

    “We heard it,” they all said. “Now let him die.”

     

    And Jesus spoke, and all there heard him speak:

     

    “You ask me who I am.

    I have spoken to the world.

    In synagogues, in the temple, to the crowds —

    To all the Jews in town. Nothing has been kept.

    Why ask me? Ask them, or ask yourselves.

    You all heard.”

    An official standing by lashed out a hand

    And struck him in the face.

    “Is this the way to answer our high priest?”

    And Jesus said, “If what I said is wrong, then testify.

    But if it’s right, why hit me?

    You will see the Son of Man,” he said,

    “at God’s right hand.”

     

    They howled with rage

    And struck him with their fists.

    The high priest tore his clothes.

    “It’s blasphemy,” he moaned.

    They put a blindfold over Jesus’ face

    Foreshadowing execution, or disgrace?

    They spat on him, and hit him on the head

    “Yay, prophet!” someone said. “So tell us now

    Who hit you? Eh? We want to see a prophet.

    Show us how.”

     

    Jesus did not answer. They bound him then

    And reinforced the guard.

    They led him from the house

    And through the garden, out into the town

    To where the Roman governor had his place.

    They took the execution warrant, ready sworn

    For Pilate just to sign.

     

    And Jesus went, without a fight.

     

    And it was dawn.

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