Good Friday 2015: Bury me at the crossroads

I nail my sins to the cross,
not because I blame God, or believe that Jesus should bear my guilt.
I have often heard myself cry “crucify,” but this is not that.
This is some strange, new hope that comes from
seeing the crucifixion from the other side,
knowing that when Jesus died,
what we used to nail him to that tree
was our own blasphemy;
the ways in which we deal death where God would give us life:
extremism, terrorism, state-sponsored execution, murder;
our jealousy, hypocrisy, our feigned innocence,
washing our hands of “accidental” death from the guns that we make,
the drugs that we supply;
the demand that we populate with twisted desire.
Anti-Semitism, every kind of phobia; racism, sexism,
and the everyday slights which we offer one another,
the paper cuts of daily life together.
Our ignorance and indifference;
our design and our distraction,
all become the destruction that we nail into the cross,
the cross of Christ.
But from the other side, we see him take them down,
down with him to the netherworld.

So nail my sins to the cross,
a dubious memento to take to the grave,
and leave them there,
if you would save us from ourselves.
As you open the doors of hell, lift Lazarus out,
bury my malice, seal up my lust.
Let rage run cool, my heart grow molten
to merge with the rock of my salvation
which is fallen so far from the heavens,
a meteor splitting the ground;
falling further than evil can follow,
Nail my sins to the cross,
take them with you,
leave them there,
if you would save us from ourselves.
Bury me at the crossroads.
Let your grave be my destruction,
your rising my resurrection.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.

About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing , and Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, both from Upper Room Books. She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
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