He Came to Make a Choice

He Came to Make a Choice
A Holy Week Poem by Gene Wilder

As night swallowed the last rays of light,
Death, and all the forces of hell, crept in to stalk the garden.

Soon, he would come,
the man of the hour,
not an hour crested by fame,
but an hour of unspeakable pain,
mixed with the gall of unbearable choice,
anxiously waiting to hear God’s clear voice.

He came to that place – embraced,
by those with whom he shared his pain,
friends unaware of the impending shame.
They slept a sleep of ignorance,
the slumber of impertinence,
blind to the gravity of the hour,
deaf to the voice of temptation’s power.

He came to make a choice.
The options were clear,
but in those dark hours, as life and death hung in the balance,
clarity never seemed so uncertain.

In his ears, the echo ringing,
of praise and glory, of children singing,
a call for him to be their king,
a smooth escape from suffering.
“Be our king,” the crowds had clamored,
“Be our king and know the power,
of position,
of high station,
of our nation’s admiration.

Yes, the enticement of entitlement
dangled before him
like a lifeline thrown at the edge of some awful abyss.

The choice to be a king,
a choice to live,
but not a choice,
from the voice,
of God.

“Pass from me, oh cup of death.”
Jesus prayed with pleading breath.
“Oh dear God, please make a way
to take this loathsome sight away,
of blood and death,
of sin and shame
that I must bear to wear your name.”

But no reprieve was offered,
no easy way,
no brighter day,
death was still God’s only way.
The choice was simply - to obey.

He came to make a choice, the options were clear,
and in those dark hours, as life and death hung in the balance,
clarity began to take its awful shape,
the shape of life unraveled,
the shape of death uncovered,
the shape of horror,
the shape of shame,
the shape of torture,
the cry of pain
a choice rejected by all who are sane.
a choice,
from the voice,
of God.

He came to make a choice,
Submit to the voice of ease and fame,
or submit to the voice of horror and pain.

And as he stood to face the ghastly shadow of his own dark cross,
– He made that choice!

Not my will, but Thine be done.
Not my will, but Thine be done.