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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sharp (03/07/13)

TITLE: Cruel and unusual
By Christopher Bruce


As I walked into town I heard screams and shouts; so I went toward the sound to see what it was about. A man was being beaten by the soldiers of Rome; Each lash to His back tore flesh from His bone. After the whipping I heard mocking and scorn; and saw a crown made for the victim out of razor-sharp thorns. They pressed the 'crown' firmly down onto His head; as it ripped thru His skin, He just sat there and bled. It was hard to keep watching, their actions were so violent; And when they finally finished they took Him back to Pilate. The governor found no cause and requested His release; but the Jews screamed "crucify Him and set Barrabas free". To avoid a rebellion, he did as they asked; but first he made a point to 'wash his hands' of this task. They made Him carry His cross outside the city's gate; to a place called Golgotha where many had met their fate. When they reached the top of the hill they continued the harm; They laid Him on the cross and made Him spread out His arms. I watched in sorrow the horror of His travails; as they pierced His hands and feet with sharpened Roman nails. With each swing of the hammer blood would come gushin'; I'd never seen this manner of unloving destruction. They stood the cross upright, so now He was hangin'; I looked up frightened at the sight of Him danglin'. So Bloody and mangled, badly beaten and bruised; the saddest thing I'd ever seen, and i was gettin confused. What did He do? I wondered and as I began to ponder, I decided i would go ask this lady over yonder. And as I came upon her, I saw that she was cryin'; so quietly I asked, "M'am who is this man dyin?" She looked up at me and wiped away her tears; and what she said next I never thought I'd hear. "That man's name is Jesus" she said, "and we're from Nazareth"; "He's the one who healed diseases and even raised up Lazarus." "He taught us how to live and He taught us how to love; He taught us all to give and to never hold a grudge." "And they're not taking His life, His life He's freely given"; which explained why I heard Him say "Father, forgive 'em." She said "this might sound odd yet I hope you believe"; "This is Christ, the Son of God, and He was born unto me." I was stunned. Was it God's Son who was hung and diminished?; Then with the last breath in His lungs He said "It is finished". His life passed away as I stood by silently; 'Til the ground started to shake; an earthquake came violently. It tore thru the temple and ripped through the veil; and as the sky became dark my heart became frail. It was then I realized everything she said was true, about this 'man' on the cross labeled "king of the jews". I fell to my knees but I felt no more fear; even as a soldier reached up and stuck Him with a spear. But what I saw next left me the most amazed; the lady smiled and said "don't worry, He'll be back in three days".

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This article has been read 238 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Bonnie Bowden 03/14/13
Excellent poem. My only suggestion would be to format it into stanzas, so the reader can more easily read it.
Christopher Bruce03/14/13
Thank you Bonnie. I tried for a couple of hours before submitting this poem to do just that. I copied and pasted it into the box and spaced it out in various ways, and I tried uploading the original text document which was properly formatted; but no matter what I did it jumbled the whole thing together as it appears here. Finally I got tired of messing with it, around 2am, so I gave up and just submitted it, thinking there was nothing else I could do. Then this morning, I tried again. I copied it to a 'rtf' file and used bulletholes to properly space it, and it worked when I copied it to a text file in the box! I think I finally figured out what to do from now on. I resubmitted this article with proper spacing, but I'm not sure if they accepted it b/c it was my second entry on the same topic. Oh well, at least now I know!
Adele Threadgold03/15/13
Actually Christopher it reads like a rap - aparently its called "Slamming". If you read it as if you were "Eminem" it sounds cool. Dont forget the baggy trousers and baseball cap around the wrong way and the jigging and finger and thumb movement.

This would be great at a Holy Sunday Passover service.
Joseph Veseli03/16/13
The other one is on here as well. It has the same title, and it's listed two down from this one.

Great job! I left a review on the other one.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/22/13
This is outstanding. I think you did a fantastic job of describing the crucifixion.

I'm not sure if the order was correct as far as putting the crown on before seeing Pilate and things like that, but I'm not sure in this case if it matters. The only thing I would suggest is to divide it into stanzas with double space to give the reader that all important white space. I'm not good at hearing rhythm so I didn't notice it and the rhymes until about halfway through and I think traditional formatting may have helped with that. Always hit preview before you hit submit because often when pasting a piece in the submission box, you'll lose the formatting and may have to go back and do it manually.

I think you really managed to capture this scene. The pictures you painted were brilliant as was the message. Congratulations on ranking 14th in level one! (The top 8 to 15 in each level and the top 35 overall depending on number of entries are posted on the message boards)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/22/13
I never read the comments before I comment because I don't want them to influence me. I think your best bet is to copy and paste it into the box, then go through and put the spaces in manually. I know there are ways to get it centered too, if that's what you wanted. Check out the message boards for more hints. Again great job!