Browse Month

April 2016

The Prayer of the Arimathean – An Original Poem

THE LAMENT

I, Joseph, weep for my Lord.
The Son of David has been crucified.
The children of flesh, of their father the devil,
Not according to the promises,
Have struck the Shepherd
And all we like sheep have gone astray.
The bulls surrounded Him,
Like their fathers encamped around the prophets,
And He was poured out like water.
The One to Whom the government
Was given was wounded and bruised,
Though He opened not His mouth.

I was not afraid to approach Him
For I was not deceitful and
I paid my vows in God’s assembly,
Trusting the Lord from my heart and
Not from vain and empty lips.
Although I know the Law,
I do not know Your mysteries.
And though I teach righteousness,
I do not know what You have hidden.

You laid the foundation of the world,
And established Israel.
In the parting of the waters they were made.
You drew out Leviathan with a fishhook
And drowned Pharaoh with his army.
You placed the stars in the heavens,
And Your angels rejoiced.
You satisfied the wilderness with rain,
And, in Your power, Leviathan was given for food to beasts.
You gave the wind it’s weight
And made a way for the lightning.
The fear of You, You have said, is the beginning of wisdom
And to turn from evil is knowledge.

Israel angered You in the wilderness,
Yet You loved them
And gave them angels’ bread.
Though they provoked You,
You brought their children to the land You promised.
In faithfulness have You dealt with us,
And we repaid You with idolatry.
You gave us David, Your friend,
And You gave him an everlasting kingdom.
His son established the Temple
And, coming in fire, Your glory dwelt there.
But we would not turn away from our whoring,
Continually making sacrifice to demons
And persecuting Your prophets.
Therefore, You gave us up to the demons of the nations;
You have set Gentile rulers over us.
First Israel fell to Assyria,
Then Judah to Babylon.
Oh Lord, they have reigned over us until now.

I have searched, Oh God of Jacob.
I have searched the words of Your prophets.
I know Elijah has come and
Has baptized many in the Jordan.
I know the Christ comes after
And restores the kingdom to Israel.
I have seen Jesus, the Son of David.
I know what I have seen:
The heavens were opened
When the Son of David was immersed.
The blind man Bartimaeus can see,
The deaf man of Decapolis hear,
The leper of Galilee was cleansed,
And the dead were raised:
Jairus’ daughter and even Lazarus,
Who was three days dead.
He went up on a high place as Moses
And taught us a new Law.
He did not abolish the old one,
But fulfilled it in a word:
He loved us and taught the same.
He had compassion on many
And fed them with bread, as You did.
And so they wished for the
Death of Your Holy One;
They encircled the Righteous Man
Who they ambushed saying
“He opposes us and accuses us
Of sins against the law.
God will deliver His Son,
So let us test Him.”

But He did not revile,
Though they reviled Him.
He did not curse, but went to death.
At His cry, angels would have borne Him
And kept Him in their hands.
At His command, we would have fought,
But He rebuked His disciples for fighting
And kept them from the sword.
He was led like a lamb to slaughter
And in silence was He before His accusers.
So they beat Him
And He couldn’t be recognized;
They scourged Him.
They mocked Him, giving Him
A thorny crown and a purple garment.
But they were not yet content.
In their bloodlust they demanded Him crucified.
So the innocent Man was led away to die.

Oh Lord, my God, prove me to be wrong.
Let my understanding be of no account.
For I buried my King,
My Lord in whom I trusted.
I was a secret disciple,
But at His death was bold.
I spoke out in the council.
In the Sanhedrin I made my displeasure known.
So I was not afraid to ask for His body,
And in my tomb I laid Him.
I became like His father
Who saw Him in a cave at His birth;
Like the carpenter, a cave I gave Him to rest in.
So they arrested me for my kindness,
They have repaid evil for good
And heaped wrath upon themselves.
The soul of Your Righteous One
Is in Your hands, my God.
Let us receive Him again like Isaac.
Let Him be like Joseph who was thought dead,
And restore Him to us like Tobias
With Your angel, oh God.
I have hoped in You, my Refuge,
Let me not be put to shame.

THE PRAISE

A wonder! A mystery revealed to the sons of men and the hosts of heaven!
The Son of God is not kept in a tomb.
He who is borne upon the Powers and Thrones
Who sits enthroned between the Cherubim
And dwells in darkness
Has made known to us the mystery of Godliness:
The Word of God, who laid the foundations of the world
By Whom the heavens were made,
Even He was made flesh
And has been vindicated by the Spirit
In the power of the Resurrection!
Therefore let us lay aside all earthly cares,
Setting our minds above,
For our Christ has endured the grave,
Though it could not endure Him.
And He has conquered death by His own death.

For in my chains He appeared to me.
In my despair He answered me.
I was rewarded for my faithfulness by Him;
I received the knowledge of His raising from Him.
“Arise oh God” I prayed,
And He did come forth.
“Judge the earth” I said,
And He has come.
He has come to judge the nations
And put the wicked Powers to shame.
He has canceled our debt
And the elementary spirits he has put to scorn.
Therefore all power is His
And He shall sit upon the throne of the Father.
He shall reign until His enemies have been crushed.
His kingdom will have no end,
And his holy ones,
Whose names are written in His book,
Will reign and shine like stars with Him.
He has become the first fruits of the dead,
And in all things He is first.

Rejoice, Israel!
Be glad, all you nations!
For the King of Glory has risen!
In Him shall all be blessed;
He has inherited the gates of His enemies,
And Japeth shall dwell in His tents!
Blessed forever is the kingdom
Of the Father, Son, and Spirit!