The Desolate Messiah – hymn for Easter

Easter for many people signals a trip to Minehead or Skegnes for the annual Spring Harvest event. Tens of thousands of people will focus on the Christian story and how it affects their lives and the world.

A few years ago, Gerard Kelly spoke about the crucifixion of Jesus and how he chose to become “weak in power” – to lay aside his rights as the Son of God in order to choose death as a way of saving the world. Then, of course, comes the resurrection on Easter Sunday and the ultimate defeat of Death itself.

Out of that teaching came part of the inspiration for this hymn. An original tune, written by my writing partner Len Olds, is here.

The desolate Messiah dies

spreadeagled on the cross:

unwanted by the earth he made,

Death’s trophy to the world displayed

and, as the final scene is played,

all hope is lost.

 

The disregarded Christ hangs high

as nations turn away.

How can a king be weak in power

and leave earth in its crisis hour?

And how will liberation flower

or Death give way?

 

Yet silently, as morning breaks,

the risen Lord is found.

A battle fought beyond the grave

has ended with a shout: ‘He saves!’

and Life walks from a borrowed cave,

now holy ground.

 

Beneath the shadow of his cross

the Church of Christ must stand,

and hold a holy mystery:

that death means life at Calvary

and grace has won the victory

for all the world.

Gareth Hill © GraceNotes Music
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