Woman, Behold Thy Son

My Jesus tortured! Why?
Oh that a sword should pierce my heart
And rip it from my breast!
My son brought here to die!
A Roman gibbet follows hard
The trial and false arrest.
So few would mourn and cry,
That mercy, boundless reaching love
Should meet such boundless hate.
Will no one answer why
My gentle Jesus’ coming here
Deserves a robber’s fate?

Forgiveness is his plea
For every mortal gathered now
To mock him at his end.
Suspended on this tree,
With only one repentant thief,
Apparently his friend.
Could I but rescue thee!
Sweet infant, searching, sturdy child
Who took a joiner’s trade.
Am I here forced to see
The final handiwork that you
So selflessly have made?

It’s Mother! In this crowd!
But do your eyes discern the one
Who comes to share your grief?
And John, beloved, allowed
Henceforth to render me instead
A loving son’s relief.
Cruel barbs come from the proud,
Who jeer at one who ever dared
To call himself a king.
“How low this king is bowed!
Or does he yet expect his God
To show, escape to bring?”

Noon sky turns black as night!
And does the God who blessed my womb
Now curse the Light of day?
Oh, deep and dreadful sight,
That dearest Father now forsakes
The Son, though hard he pray!
Come now, Celestial Might,
And help the One who spread your name
Through this poor hurting land.
Show Him both just and right.
Descend somehow! Deliver this,
Our Child, with outstretched hand!

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