(By Paul Graham)
See him on the street corner on this busy Wednesday,
With his friends around him, hanging on his every word.
Stories that he’s told, each one with a question to answer;
Their deeper meanings yet to be uncovered, but entertaining, nonetheless.
Actions that spoke louder than words, of sighted eyes,
Of plummeting pigs and the restoration of families;
All with a word of grace.
His twelve best friends are with him today,
But in two days’ time they won’t be.
Tomorrow is the feast day, and there is much to prepare for.
The room is booked, the food is being readied,
And the words so familiar are being rehearsed.
The story of freedom to be told once again,
Of ancient exodus from slavery.
If only that could be their reality, they think,
As soldiers march by their group, their swords catching the afternoon sun.
One of them watches their overlords go, feeling the coins weighing heavily at his side,
Knowing that he has set in motion the long hoped-for freedom.
Actions that will speak louder than words, of riots to come,
Of overthrown government and the restoration of his nation;
All starting with a kiss yet to come.
At last, there will be a son of David on the throne again
And they shall taste freedom in bread and wine.
But not today, because today is about getting ready for tomorrow.
For tomorrow is going to be the biggest day of the year.
Or so they think.
All around them is the clutter of the city:
The rattle of begging bowls clash with shouts of traders selling trinkets to pilgrims.
Cattle and human livestock are led through the streets
To be sold to the highest bidder.
All around is bustle and busyness
And no-one notices just another group in the corner,
Not knowing their Messiah is in their midst.
But even his friends don’t know what he knows of the days to come;
Of broken bread and broken skin,
Of shared wine and shared clothing,
Of three denials and three crosses.
And yet he stays with his friends:
The betrayer, the denier, the doubter and the deserters
And loves them all the way
Through Friday and beyond.