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“Crucifixion: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross” – A Sonnet for Good Friday by Malcolm Guite

April 18, 2014


Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross

See, as they strip the robe from off his back

And spread his arms and nail them to the cross,

The dark nails pierce him and the sky turns black, 

And love is firmly fastened on to loss.

But here a pure change happens. On this tree

Loss becomes gain, death opens into birth.  

Here wounding heals and fastening makes free,

Earth breathes in heaven, heaven roots in earth.

And here we see the length, the breadth, the height,

Where love and hatred meet and love stays true,

Where sin meets grace and darkness turns to light,

We see what love can bear and be and do.

And here our Saviour calls us to his side,

His love is free, his arms are open wide.


malcom-guiteMalcolm Guite is a poet, priest, and singer-songwriter. I first came across his sonnets a year ago, and am deeply grateful for the gift they’ve been in my life. Among my favourites are his sonnets for Holy Week and Easter, which I’ve been posting on this blog throughout this week. This sonnet from his book Sounding the Seasons: Seventy Sonnets for the Christian Year, and is reproduced with permission. There’s an audio recording on Malcolm’s blog of his reading this sonnet.

The first image in this posting is of the painting “Greater Love Has No Man Than This,” by David Goatley.


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