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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Foreign Language (12/09/10)

TITLE: For All
By Margaret Kearley


‘Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH,
THE KING OF THE JEWS..... and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek.’ John 19:19-20

Only a rough hewn piece of wood
Inscribed with a message but not understood.
Only a name plaque, nailed to a tree
A notice, a sentence, for many to see.
Only a few words written in scorn
And placed o’er a body, hung dying and torn.
The message spoke clearly through hatred’s abuse:
‘Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.’

Knowing the truth, and afraid of it too,
Knowing in conscience the right thing to do,
Knowing the innocence, goodness and grace
Of the prisoner with whom he now stood face to face.
Knowing his livelihood lay on the line
He ceded to pressure and reached for the sign;
With deliberate hand, in languages three,
Pilate wrote the inscription for all men to see.

Mary knew grief that tore her apart,
And bowed with sharp pain as a sword pierced her heart.
She stood with the women who so loved Him too
And weeping with sorrow, their agony grew.
Awaiting the parting for now they would lose
‘Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.’
She read the words in her own Jewish tongue
As she gazed on her Saviour, her own precious Son.

A centurion brave, and a leader of men,
A Roman, familiar with suffering and pain.
But seeing the earthquake, the darkness severe,
He trembled with terror and knew God was here.
He stood by the cross, in that moment of time
As he watched Jesus die and read there the sign,
In his language of Latin the words told of one
Who he now knew for sure was God’s very own Son.

He could still feel the ache of the weight he had born
The cross of the one who was nailed now forlorn.
He heard the crowd shouting with mockery’s cries,
And he watched the man die with love in His eyes.
Simon, a Greek from Cyrene, had met
With Jesus, the One he would never forget.
And there o’er the thorns that encircled Christ’s head
Simon dwelt on the words of the sign he now read.

Only a rough hewn piece of wood
Inscribed with a message, not understood,
Only a name plaque, nailed to a tree
A notice, a sentence, for many to see.
But one day, in glory, all nations will come
From all tribes and languages, they’ll be gathered home.
And Heaven with glory and shout of praise rings
To Jesus, the Lord of all, King of all Kings.

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This article has been read 765 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Linda Wright12/17/10
Bravo! Splendid poetry and bible message! I love everything about this poem.
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/18/10
A wonderful message expressed beautifully in poetry. I especially loved the last stanza.
Noel Mitaxa 12/18/10
Thought-provoking, creative and comprehensive entry.
Nancy Bucca12/19/10
Beautiful and well written.
Amy Michelle Wiley 12/23/10
Beautiful poem. I love the flow of words and never would have thought of this story for this topic. Well done.
Sharon Eastman12/25/10
Excellent work. I loved it. I liked the style and the message. You are very talented
Beth LaBuff 12/25/10
Your title is perfect. I love your expertly penned words. Congratulations on your Editor's Choice award!
Emily Carlson12/25/10
This is lovely and well-crafted! I like the way your organized it, with an example of a person for each of the languages. I tried reading it out loud and it sounded great. Has a good rhythm to it.
Lisa Johnson12/31/10
This poem is awesome in every way... well deserving of the first place and editor's choice!