The Crucify Crowd - Easter Poem
Joyce Carr Stedelbauer Share page


The news that Jesus was coming swept through the city
and a huge crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches
and went down the road to meet Him, shouting,  “The
SAVIOR!”” God bless the King of Israel!”  “Hail to God’s
Ambassador!”  Then the Pharisees said to each other,”
We’ve lost.  Look, the whole world has gone after Him!”
John 12

How could public opinion sway like those palm trees
in a single week?  The storms of self interest and fear lashed
the city with lies and plots until the following week
Pilate asked the people:  “What charges are you
bringing against this man?

                        Angry voices shouted:

“If he were not a criminal, we would not have handed
him over to you.”  Take him yourselves and judge him by
your own law.” But we have no right to execute anyone.”

 John 18


Scurrying down the slick labyrinth of rain-dark streets
like rats seeking holes for hiding –

the crucify crowd –
        sharp noses twitching with news
of the prisoner taken in the dead of night,
        Roman soldiers finally doing something right.

Whiskers working the smell of fresh blood,
        beady eyes blinking recognition of fellow black-robed
rodents by their twisting tails of lies.

The money-changers
        still smarting at His rebuke,
business scattered like chaff in an angry wind –
               crushing losses during this Passover parade.

The hapless farmer
     from the Gaderenes, furious
          his black-market herd of pigs was dashed to the sea.

The prominent  accusers –
    forelocks swinging –
     clutching jagged stones intended
for the scandalous harlot:

merchants made rich with
     light-weighted sacks,
  priests offering pious prayer in public,
  fingering their knotted fringed shawls,

the beggar’s family who existed
on his alms before he walked,
the good Jew who avoided the good Samaritan.

     All of these and more –
the doubters, deserters, the proud and powerful
a malevolent current surging
under the narrow arch to Pilate’s praetorian.

      Their foul breath bruising the air –           




John 19

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Used with permission by Joyce Carr Stedelbauer from her book “WHO ROLLED THE STONE?

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