A Man of Sorrows

Jesus on that last Thursday
weeping in the garden alone,
asks for a different path.
In the depths of fear, asking turns to pleading.
He is in all points tempted as we are
as he seeks the will of God.
A man of sorrows,
acquainted with grief.
And then it is Jesus in chains,

taken where he does not want to go.
During that long restless night in captivity,
sleep escapes him as he thinks about his hands, his feet,
the frailty of this human body of ours,
how we bleed.
A man of sorrows,
acquainted with grief.
Brought before judges with power of life and death,

there is no justice here for him,
and he does not look for it.
He knows the path he is walking.
They slap him, and call him a blasphemer.

Stripped and whipped, mocked and spat upon,
he is despised and rejected.
A man of sorrows,
acquainted with grief.
Carrying his own implement of execution,

a heavy beam resting on shredded shoulders,
the uphill climb to Golgotha is too much, and he falls.
A stranger picks up this burden for him,
and on they go.
The many people who are following,
they see him stretched out naked on the ground,
each blow of the hammer
reflected in the flinching of his whole body.
The humiliation of us all is upon him.
A man of sorrows,
acquainted with grief.
Jesus looks in the eyes of the men bent over him,

saying, “Father forgive them,
they don’t know what they are doing.”
But the soldiers know what they are doing,
they have done this before, many times.
They hoist him up, his whole weight hanging
on his feet, his hands; all this to the sound
of jeering from the crowd,
the taunting of the chief priests and scribes;
“He saved others, he cannot save himself.
He trusts in God, let God deliver him now.”
A man of sorrows,
acquainted with grief.
Hour passes hour, with the drip drip of blood,

and the rising agony of muscles cramping,
the struggle to breathe.
The sky grows dark.
In the fog of pain, he sees his mother
and the women who supported him watching,
along with the disciple that he loves.
Words are spoken, gasped out.
A man of sorrows,
acquainted with grief.
Jesus bows his head,

breathes his last,
and gives up his spirit.
Emmanuel, God with us,
gone from the land of the living.
Surely he has borne our griefs,
and carried our sorrows;
he was a man of sorrows,
and acquainted with grief.

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner www.leadinginworship.com” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at carol@leadinginworship.com

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