Good Friday Reflection 2018


St Michael and All Angels Amersham On The Hill           

Poems by Joy Tobler


Painful Grace

His hands had created atoms and elements

had crafted galaxies and the human brain

now He offered them to the hammer and nails.

His feet had walked the universe

and trodden the trails of shepherds and outcasts

now, nailed, they bore His dying weight.

His brow which had felt the force of stormy wind

and the balm of a woman’s precious nard

now dripped blood from the mocking thorny crown.

          The man from heaven

          crucified on earth

          for my salvation.

          Amazing, painful grace.



On His Own

Neither sun, nor moon, nor the radiance

of heaven lit that awful afternoon.

Darkness hung heavier than death,

blacker than sin.

But it was not the absence of outer light

which caused His distress,

nor the utter darkness of hell

which He visited in His spirit as He hung

upon the cross; but rather the absence

from Him, for the first time ever

in His whole eternal life, of His Father’s presence.

Such unimaginable abandonment and desolation

tore at His soul.  “Why God?

Why have You forsaken Me?”

No answer came to soothe His heart.

No help came to lift Him from the cross.

No arm came round His shoulders

in silent solidarity with Him.

He knew He was on His own, for the duration,

in this final bout.


“It was for me

He hung and suffered there.”

Hung, by His hands nailed through onto the cross.

Hung, at the instigation of the religious elite.

Hung, while the so-called pious threw taunts

and ridicule upon Him.

Hung, while one on another cross cursed Him,

yet his companion on a third cross

asked for His mercy and grace.

‘And suffered there’ – excruciating pain,

extreme thirst, desolation of abandonment,


And it was all for me.

Somehow, I know not how, it was

for the forgiveness of my sins,

for my release from the power of death,

for my redemption and salvation,

for my adoption as God’s child.

Somehow, it was for me.


Blinding Truth

First the cries, “Long live the King!”

Then the shouts of, “Crucify Him!”

Then that eerie midday darkness

with Him hanging in silent agony.

Then what sounded like a triumphant, “Finished!”

Finally the peaceful, “Into Your hands, Father.”

And so it was done:

          The greatest transaction in history.

          The costliest purchase known.

          The supreme self-offering of all time.

          The most binding peace accord ever.

And no-one realized.