“Shame Him and Make Him Go Away: An Easter Poem”
They put him on an unfair trial–the greatest trial that shakes the earth;
The jury misjudged him and fabricated lies about him; the people mischaracterized and cheated him; the leaders chastised and shamed him; and they all found him guilty for a crime he did not commit–lies that are forgiven and guilt that is forgotten;
They whipped him until his body bore bruises, his soul abuses, and his heart humanity’s challenges–the body that bears the world’s pain and gives new birth;
They made him carry a cross they fashioned for his destiny–the cross of pain, of sorrow, of humanity’s hope;
They hang him on a tree to be lynched– a tree that gives passion, redemption, satisfaction, and resurrection;
They handed him over to the soldiers to be oppressed–yet he is their hope and Savior too;
While still hanging on the lynching tree, they mocked him; they insulted him; they gave him sour wine mingled with gall to drink; and they spat on his face in shame–the Savior’s saliva that brings the abusers’ sweet healing and the oppressors’ restoration;
They crucified him so he could die–the death that fuels new life and salvation too;
After he breathed his last breath in shame, he was declared dead at last–he is the breath of life and resurrection of life;
They put him in the tomb and buried him in shame–the tomb of despair and of glory too;
They sealed the tomb of shame with a rock so he will not go away–the seal of humanity’s destiny and their stone of safety.
Hold on, Sir!
Hold on, Madame!
Wait, boys and girls!
Don’t move, children!
Tarry, young people!
Don’t go away, citizens of the world!
Wait until the morning hour;
the new Sunday for the seal to be broken;
for the stone to be rolled away;
for darkness and death to lose the fight;
for the Son to be set free;
for the Sun to rise again;
on the Resurrection Sun-day!
–Dr. Celucien L. Joseph