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This poem was written in 1996, after a period when, for the second time in my life, the Spirit of God had led me through the whole panorama of salvation and made it intensely personal to me.


It should have been I
in the judgement hall
facing the charges brought:
indicted justly for my wrongs
before a righteous Judge.
Yet You stood, instead,
the sinless God
hauled for judgement
before sinful man.
You spoke not
to defend Your innocence
but in silence bore my guilt
and in my place
received the sentence due to me.

It should have been I
whose back was whipped
for beatings
are for the backs of fools,
and I in foolishness
have set before You other gods
of stone, of flesh, of thought,
but mostly of myself,
whilst You
wisdom personified
have brought the truth.

It should have been I
whose hands and feet were nailed
to cruel beams
as they shuddered into place
and torn
by the weight of sin’s burden.
For my hands
have often been
the instrument of evil
and yet more often still have failed
to do the good they could have wrought;
my feet have carried me
to places where Your Spirit
could not comfortably rest.
But your hands
brought only life
and Your feet
led you only in the Father’s paths.

It should have been I
whose head was crowned with angry thorns
for thoughts of anger
hatred, envy, lust and greed
are not strangers to its paths
and my mind
in rebellion
has often sought
to raise itself above the throne of God.
But Your mind bowed
before the Father’s will
obedient even
to this ignominious end.

It should have been I
whose heart was pierced
this heart in which
the depths of degradation lurk;
whose motives all
are tainted with corruption
and whose purest thoughts
stink of death.
Instead, Your heart of love
was rent
not by the soldier’s sword
but by my guilt.

It should have been I
who died
exposed in naked shame
before the eyes of all
who cared to look;
screaming eternally
to unresponding infinity
for the just God
who turned His head away.
But You,
the righteous One
received my wages due
and I
walking free and clean
offer my inadequate response:
Thank You…
… thank you.

Find more poems here

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