A poem by Rich Bowpitt
At our Maundy Thursday gathering, a number of different poems were shared, and we’ve been featuring some of them in blogs over the Easter Weekend. Here’s the next one, by Rich Bowpitt (based on this tweet by Sam Allberry):
Genesis 22: A lamb for one man
An impossible request? A tyrant’s behest? A violent demand to stand and, in cold blood, cut down his love at a word from above? Is that what this is? Who would require for the fire, a dad to kill his lad? A man as a lamb?
Not the God I know, and lo, an angel appears and through his tears Abraham hears: Stop! The danger subsided, a sacrifice provided, a father guided, a family divided no more.
So why tell the tale? Well, this story is an allegory, this narrative is comparative with what’s to come.
God’s plan, a lamb, for one man.
Exodus 12: A lamb for a clan
Fast forward. Pain. Israelites in chains, a people restrained, an exile by the Nile while a hostile crowd gather around and their children drowned.
A leader raised to save a people enslaved.
Egypt warned with miracles performed: water transformed, frogs spawned, insects swarmed, farmers mourned, boils formed, hail stormed, darkness dawned, Pharaoh…unwarmed to the plight of a people in peril. A terrible price is all that would suffice to melt his heart of ice.
When death is the cost for passing across, God’s plan is a lamb. For each clan, each family, a lamb would be enough, sacrifice revealed at a meal. A dark mark on the bark. The lamb gives, and the family lives.
Leviticus 16: A lamb for a nation
Again, skip ahead, the Israelites fled and Moses led, God fed with bread, and then he said “From the fall your desire to sin has been built-in, but it can’t win. Come and atone before the throne, that I might make my home with you.”
An opportunity for a community to be clean, Leviticus 16, one day a year, the High Priest draws near with righteous fear, to make a way for man to stand. A way shown to atone and be known. The blood of one sees sin undone.
How? God’s plan, a lamb, not just for one man, or one clan to receive, instead we see a nation’s salvation paid, a people freed, forgiveness decreed.
John 1: A lamb for creation
On we go, for we know the stories they show the true foe is death, and with each breath they foretell the one long-awaited, the Word incarnated, the liberator whose fate is to create a new way.
John, upon seeing, the saviour foretold, exclaims “Behold”, the plan, the God-man, a lamb. A spotless, sinless sacrifice, a price paid to seek and save the lost, a cost beyond measure, his treasure is you.
A lamb not just for one man, or one clan, not just for a nation but all of creation.
Love poured out without doubt, then raised in three days, that’s how Jesus saves. So, I’ll live in the light of the fight, that’s been won, sin undone, I’ll run to the one who calls me his son.
Revelation 5, 21: A lamb for eternity
Final flourish, the lamb, the God-man, slain, but now reigns, his pain not in vain; heaven descends, the world He mends, and the story ends. It’s a tale that tells of those that rebelled, released and restored and redeemed and reborn and renewed and at rest.
God’s plan, a lamb.