Eli Eli Lama Sabagtani - Poem by Daleen Enslinstrydom
In the dim twilight after the darkest day
I stood back and watched as He hanged lifeless on the cross
and I do recall His last words
just before He did draw His last breath of life
it was as if nature itself answered in anguish
and shouted out His pain
in the thunder and lightning
that sliced through the veil of heaven
and when He closed His eyes
darkness fell over the earth
as if the light itself had died.
I heard a woman cry out
and the crowd had become silent
almost as if they were frightened to make a sound,
a man called out as he fell to his knees:
"Surely He was the Son of God."
It was the time for the daily sacrifice,
I could hear a priest shout
that the veil of the most holy had torn
and I wanted to hide
although the darkness was pitch black
and my shame, my betrayal,
was more than I could bear
and suffocating it hanged over me
when I realized that I had a part to play
in His despair
and I recall that I heard Him say
just before he passed:
"Father, forgive them
for they do not know what they are doing."
He redeemed the man on his left,
forgave his sins
and it was as if He was also talking to me.
From the twilight I can still recall His voice
as it echoed through the universe
and back to me:
"Eli eli lama sabagtani."
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