The Beauty of the Cross – A Poem

The poetry prompt over at dVerse Poets Pub today is to write about “the beautiful sadness.” Stuart McPherson is hosting and has laid down quite the challenge. For me the choice of what to write about was easy: the saddest and most beautiful scene in all of history.

The Beauty of the Cross

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Did you see the beauty of His wounds?
The mockers could not see the love
Shed in blood and tears

I was not there but in my mind
I see the scene play out with pain
Sadness mixed with the joy of victory
Over sin and darkness within

A crown of thorns more beautiful
Than any crown of gold and jewels
Upon His bleeding brow as
Blood poured down His lovely face

How can there be beauty in such cruelty?
How can there be more than sadness in
The nails that pierced the hands of the Divine?
Beauty lies in the love and mercy beneath it all

Not everyone sees the beauty of the cross or the beauty in this man who was God tortured and crucified. Many see only the ugliness of a man wounded and bleeding, and turn away from scenes of this moment in history. The prophet Isaiah wrote of the coming Messiah:

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isaiah 53:2-3 (NIV).

For me the only thing more beautiful than the cross in all the world is the empty tomb and the risen Christ.

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.


10 Responses

  1. Wow, Linda . .this made me cry and was such a powerful poem on top of meeting the challenge in such a special Jesus way. God bless you as you continue to write for Him and His glory!

  2. I think perhaps this is one of the best examples of beauty in sadness. Without the sadness, the Easter story would not have happened. Seconding also what Claudia has said.

  3. My questions come alive here along with what I wish I could see looking at multiple replicas of the cross, inhabited or uninhabited: a beauty made of triumph and mystery, a symbol of how, in crucifying Jesus, hands of God were at work, so that the resurrection can be experienced by all of us. Your voice now joins the artists through the ages who attempt to show the mercy as Jesus receives it and as he experiences his successful quest. Thank you for the beauty of this poem.

  4. i imagine the scene itself pretty gruesome…crucifiction def was not for the faint of heart…and how they treated him (not condemning them, we surely treat him as much often) but def what it represnts is beautiful….i think there is a great contrast of the beautiful sadness in it…

  5. you know…while I was in Italy, I saw so much catholic imagery….there was one in particular that kept me transfixed…and it was a wax sculpture of Christ on the cross…and just his expression, his posture, his colour….everything about it was beautiful….and your poem reminded me so much of this

  6. there’s beauty for sure in the cross…your poem makes me think of a song by matt redman…for the cross.. where one line goes..i’m overwhelmed by the mystery… and i am..over and over again…

Leave a Reply