Poetry / The English Teacher

Good Friday

In the Christian’s life, the celebration of Easter (oh, Glorious Resurrection!) would be woefully incomplete (and wholly misunderstood) without the gruesome truth of Christ’s atoning death on a Roman Cross. We call the day “Good Friday.” How good, for the believer, we cannot fully fathom, until we acknowledge these things:

The Holiness of God

the humiliating reality of our own sin

The Love, unsurpassed, that redeems us

George Herbert, who lived a short live in the midst of the late Renaissance Age, reveals these truths beautifully in “The Agony.” On this Good Friday, may the poem’s truths pierce your heart as Christ was “pierced for our transgressions” (Isaiah 53:5) on the Cross of our salvation.

Philosophers have measur’d mountains,
Fathom’d the depths of the seas, of states, and kings,
Walk’d with a staff to heav’n, and traced fountains:
But there are two vast, spacious things,
The which to measure it doth more behove:
Yet few there are that sound them; Sin and Love.

Who would know Sin, let him repair
Unto mount Olivet; there shall he see
A man so wrung with pains, that all his hair,
His skin, his garments bloody be.
Sin is that press and vice, which forceth pain
To hunt his cruel food through ev’ry vein.

Who knows not Love, let him assay
And taste that juice, which on the cross a pike
Did set again abroach, then let him say
If ever he did taste the like.
Love is that liquor sweet and most divine,
Which my God feels as blood; but I, as wine.


Grace & Peace to you.


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