By His Stripes We Are Healed! A poetic parable of substitution

By His Stripes We Are Healed | from Isaiah 53.5 and 1 Peter 2.24

A Simple Song of Experience

Isaiah 53.5: …and by His stripes we are healed.

1 Peter 2.24: …by whose stripes you were healed.

A prisoner sits in darkness, in the silence of his cell

just waiting for the summons that he only knows too well –

when the warden comes to give the call he’s often heard before:

“Come on, my man, it’s time to die”…and they go behind that Door.

Each time a cell is emptied, he moves on up Death Row;

his cell is right beside the Door – it’s his time next to go.

The Door will open just one way – it’s thick, secure, and black –

and once the convict takes the trip, there is no coming back.

He wears the stripes that prisoners wear; his face is sad and grim.

For all he knows, today’s the day – there’s no hope left for him.

But one day just before the dreaded final summons came,

another Man walked down the Row and called him by his name.

He’s dressed in robes of Royalty – His face is known to all –

this is the King, His Majesty, the Giver of the Law.

He beckons to the warden: “Come, release this man for Me!

Come, let him out, and let him go! I’ve pardoned him! He’s free!”

The warden can’t quite understand: “But You Yourself have said

that ‘No transgressor can go free until the debt is paid!’

How can I honor what You’ve said, and what I’ve sworn to do?

How can I both discharge the Law – and let this man go, too?

The Law demands that he must die – and that’s Your Law, my Lord!

And if You don’t require his death, you’ve broken Your own Word!”

The King just smiles and nods His head, for well He understands

the seeming contradiction of the justice of the plan –

how, with one word, He says that one must pay the penalty,

and then, with yet another word, He says to set him free!

But, still without an answer, He began to show us why

His Justice can be satisfied, while sinners do not die!

He lifted up from off of him the stripes the convict wore,

and dressed him in the Robe that He Himself had worn before.

He wrapped the stripes around Himself, and says with Lamb-like Grace,

“Yes, you are right – the convict dies! – but I will take his place!

See, now I wear the sinner’s stripes, and he’s condemned no more!

So, let the sinner go his way, and TAKE ME TO THE DOOR!”

And so, without another word, the warden led the King

into the chamber of my death – and HE DIED THERE FOR MY SIN!

And so He put away my sins, my pardon there He sealed –

my stripes were all laid on the King – AND BY HIS STRIPES I’M HEALED!

~ dsp

This entry was posted in dsp poems/songs, Simple Songs of Experience and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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