Spoken word by Jemma Nicoll at Thrive Community Church on Good Friday 2017:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In him was the breath of life, and this life was the light of all humankind.
A fulfilment of all that was written, this light became flesh and blood and entered the world. Heaven became hands and feet and dwelt among us; this humble and lowly servant, a carpenter’s apprentice, Messiah and Prince of Peace.
He came to join hands with his own, but his own turned away.
His own indulged in a broken establishment riddled by tales of tormented kings gone before, each reign and rule painting violent skies above barren lands, barren hearts, fragmented pieces of the Creator’s intended design.
But that did not stop this Light from moving into the neighbourhood, and living side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder, with the very people he gave the breath of life to.
Then this Light, He began to speak. With every word heads turned, eyes locked and hearts beat rapidly for his words were enriched in love, alight with life and were a gateway to a new path untrod.
Upon mountain tops crowds gathered; men, women and children alike, to catch a glimpse and draw nearer to this Light, this Voice, this Advocate, who’s name was Jesus. ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit’, He said to the crowd, ‘for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’
‘Blessed are those who mourn,’ He said, ‘for they will be comforted.’
‘You are salt and light. Seek first my Kingdom. I am the way. Ask and you shall receive,’ he said.
Water became wine. One meal fed five thousand. The blind man could see. The leper was cleansed. ’But Jairus, she is not dead’, Jesus said, ‘she is only sleeping. Little girl, arise.’
Word of this Light spread like wildfire; masses of expectant, hope-filled hearts crushed him from all sides awaiting His next steps. What will he say today? What will he do today? Perhaps just one glimpse, one word, and we could be set free. Perhaps just one touch, and we could be healed.
‘Who touched me?’ Jesus asked. She realised that she could not go unnoticed, so came forward trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of the crowd, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. ‘Daughter,’ Jesus said to her, ‘your faith has healed you. Go in peace.’
Even creation bowed down in awe; furious seas stilled and winds subsided. Who is this man, they asked, who commands even the wind and the water?
But then the tides began to turn, and a kiss lead to Calvary.
The genesis of God’s greatest sacrifice for humankind was a kiss of betrayal, and thirty silver coins.
Gethsemane erupted; swords clanged and blood was drawn. Yet Jesus, the Restorer, reached out his healing hand towards his adversary and chose the miraculous over malevolence, restoration over revenge. ‘No more of this,’ he urged his disciples.
Then, dragged before Pilate, Jesus stood alongside a murderer. ‘Whom do you choose to be released?’ the crowd was asked; and Barabas walked free while innocence remained shackled.
‘Crucify him,’ the crowd roared.
‘But what crime has this man committed?’ asked Pilate, washing his hands of all answerability for the moment yet to unfold.
‘Crucify him,’ they roared even louder, satisfying the religious leaders’ quest for control and order, extinguishing the flame of hope lit by this Jesus, this rebel.
Mocked, jeered, scorned. A scarlet robe and a crown of thorns. Shouldering the cross, he stumbled the sinuous road to Calvary; each step a passionate pursuit for the purpose of His Father.
Nailed to a tree between two thieves, though he looked upon them as His own and in his final moments of humanity, invited them into His Kingdom.
‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’
In his final moments, he forgave. In his final moments, he offered freedom.
‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ And so he breathed his last.
At this moment a revolution began.
It began in the groan of the earth; the ground trembled, upheaved, shifted, rocks overturned, night pervaded day and the Temple curtain tore in two.
Revolution began in the hearts of those who gathered; gazing upon Jesus’ lifeless body and terrified at creation’s response, proclaimed: ‘Surely this was the Son of God.’
It is finished, Jesus had said. But revolution had just begun.
You can find more of Jemma’s creative work at here