Sayings from the Cross: The Fourth Word

The Fourth Word

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying , Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Eloi,  Eloi, lama sabachthani?
Crossed and, here, double-crossed at length I yield.
In media res, though dark, I plainly see
A pearl of paste, no treasure in the field.
Naked I wait the loveless stroke held high!
Break forth and wash the slime from off this earth!
They’ve tied me to the stake. I cannot fly,
And you have fled.
I gave you all and counted it but loss,
A reckless wager, now too late to find,
Not that I bought my prize at too great cost,
But that the cost I pay forfeits the prize.
Ransack the pantheon; it will be seen
That only one god knows what courage means.


Doug Jackson is a preacher/professor/poet who after a quarter-century in the pastorate now teaches spiritual formation, pastoral ministry, and Greek for the Logsdon Seminary program at the South Texas School of Christian Studies in Corpus Christi. His collection of poetry, Nothing There is Not More, is available from Finishing Line Press.


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