Poetry at King's: To the Cross and Beyond

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A dry patch of earth, two pieces of wood
A beaten young man and a handful of nails
Two thousand years from the day when he stood At the cross - I’m still working out all it entails

Mysteries too great for my mind to unravel Something I’m struggling fully to see
These are the paths that we’re looking to travel If we’re ever to truly live free

He is the image of God everlasting
His is the power that created all things
He is the life that goes on all surpassing,
The well from which all of the universe springs He is light the dark cannot extinguish
Glory cascades from his beautiful face
His is the radiance, where no word in English Can capture the breadth of his love and his grace

Unstoppable, infinite power and wisdom
Perfect, pre-eminent splendour and worth
Stepped down from the Heavens, and born as an infant Emmanuel entered the Earth

It’s hard to describe, don’t know where to begin
Just how low the infinite God had to stoop
To take on humanity, compared to him
We’re like something you scrape off the sole of your boot

Time can’t contain him and oceans a hundred miles deep Are to him less than paddling pools
Yet Jesus is born in a barnyard, asleep
On the straw with his cheek in a puddle of drool

God indescribable, gurgling and wailing Word of the Father, yet learning to talk High king of Heaven ungainly and flailing His arms as he’s figuring out how to walk

Growing, and dealing with hormones and acne
Mum tells the Lord of lords, time for your bed
Watches him sleeping and ponders how somehow he’s Like us but sinless instead
All too soon leaving the home and he’s got to be
Doing the work of his Father above
Doesn’t care what others think just as long as he’s

Pouring his life out in service and love

Bent down to pray in the garden and weeping Sweat drops of blood trickle down to the moss Infinite power - yet his great love is keeping His eyes focussed tight to the cross

Wind and the waves and all nature obeys him This lion can’t be conquered by man
Yet he follows his Father, as Judas betrays him He goes to the knife like a pitiful lamb

The word of all truth is condemned as a liar The lord of all life to be hanged until dead Soldiers twist thorns in a crown out of briar And force it down tight on his head

The king of the Jews is the title they mockingly give But the king of all kings is his name
The king who would kneel as a servant and live And die for us, to shoulder our blame

Reaching the cross and he’s stretched out upon it The soldiers, the hammer, the nails driven home Agony sears as his weight dangles from it
And he is left gasping and dying alone

Gods shouldn’t bleed, but our God is bleeding
The lord of all glory, it doesn’t add up
That he’s nailed to the cross and the Father is feeding
His Son this unthinkable cup
That this perfect and blameless, this flawless and spotless Messiah - the one who can’t tolerate sin
Would fully become all my filth and my rottenness
All he despises congeals into him
Murder and violence, destructive, abusive
Behaviour, the lying, the war and the strife
All the worst evils our species produces
Are now carved across this once innocent life

Knowing full well that his Father would turn
from the son who once filled him with absolute pride In justice, would pour out a righteous inferno
Of wrath against sin that he cannot abide
That Christ would become the curse - he who is holy And soak up that furious judgment and fire
The guilt wasn’t his, it was ours and ours only
But all is absorbed by this broken Messiah

Look at the cross and the awful truth hits me
God himself naked and bleeding and near
To death and he looks in my eyes and convicts me “My brother - your sin put me here”
I downplay my wrongs and I reckon I’m righteous But here’s the harsh proof that it’s worse than I knew My sin kept him pinned there and cost him his life as That awful transaction went through

Broken, I fall at the feet of my Maker
And tears flood my eyes as I see
That my sin is great, but his love is far greater
And here at the cross I am free
He took my place and he trades me his righteousness God looks at me and instead of my shame
He sees the pure record of Jesus whose life is
Now living in me and I won’t be the same

Dead for three days, but no grave could restrain him All of creation is being made new
By the king, now exalted, all Heaven acclaims him And one day the whole Earth will bow the knee too

Way short of Heaven, oh I was a goner; Now through his blood I’m restored
I’ll take the bread and the cup as I honour The awful, the wonderful cross of my Lord

There is no power like the blood of my saviour No other ruler can outlast his reign
There is no hope like the king who gives favour To all who will trust in his glorious name

There is no guilt that the cross doesn’t cover There is one anchor that pierces the veil This is the gospel, there can be no other And all of it hangs on those nails

This Jesus, this gospel, is more than enough And compared with it all else is loss
See you can put faith in all manner of stuff

But I’ll only boast in the cross 

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