Christ III
  Back to lines 1039-1080


1081 There sin-stained people, grieving in spirit, will themselves behold him with the utmost distress. It will be no consolation to them that there in front of those other-worldly peoples the Cross of our Lord will stand present, the brightest of portents, moistened with blood, with the pure blood of the King of heaven, besprinkled with gore, which will shine out clearly across the broad creation. The shadows will be repressed where that radiant tree illumines the peoples; yet it will prove a reproach and a threat to those people who, being evil-doers, acknowledged no thanks to God for his torments whereby he was hanged on that holy tree for the wicked misdeeds of mankind. There he, the Prince, lovingly bought life for mankind on that day at that price - he whose body never did itself the blemish of vicious transgressions - through which he redeemed us. For all this he will sternly demand repayment when the crimson cross shines brilliantly over all, instead of the sun. On it those seduced by sins, dark evil-doers, will fearfully stare in distress; they will see as their ruin that which would have best befitted them, had they been willing to understand it for the good. And also the ancient wounds and the gaping gash upon their Lord they will behold, desolate in spirit, according as men of malicious purpose pierced with nails those white hands and those holy feet and likewise set flowing the blood from his side, whence blood and water both came running out together in front of the men and in the sight of their eyes, when he was on the Cross.
1115 At this they themselves will be able to see then, plain and manifest, that for the love of men, of evil-doers, he suffered much. The children of men will be able clearly to perceive how, lacking faith, they denied him in their thoughts, mocked him with insults and also voided their spittle in his face. They voiced their scorn upon him, and hell-bent men likewise struck the blessed face with their hands, with claws outstretched and with fists too, and about his head they twisted a cruel thorny crown - men blind in their thoughts, stupid and misguided. They saw the voiceless universe, the all-verdant earth and the sky, fearfully sense the sufferings of the Lord, and though they were not living things they mourned in sorrows when those ruffians seized their Creator with sinning hands. The sun was extinguished, stifled by pangs; while in Jerusalem the people were looking at the fine cloth of highest quality which formerly the congregation was supposed to gaze upon as an ornament of the holy house: it all ripped apart from above, so that it lay on the earth in two pieces. The veil of the temple, made in wonderful hues of the splendour of the house, tore itself in two as though a sharp sword-edge had sliced through it. Many gleaming walls and stones shattered to the ground and the earth too, disturbed by fear, trembled upon the instant, and the spacious sea revealed the might of its strength and broke away from its constraint up in anger on to the surface of the land; and in their shining fixedness the stars lost their familiar beauty. In that same hour heaven recognized him who sublimely arrayed it in its brilliance with starry gems, for it had sent his herald when the shining King of created things was first born. Behold too, those guilty men surely observed a great prodigy on the same day on which h suffered, that earth rendered up those who lay in it. Alive once more, they whom formerly it had tightly clasped rose up - the buried dead who had kept the Lord's commandment to their breast. Hell too, instigator of sin, recognized that the Creator, the reigning God, had come, when it rendered up the throng, its booty, from its hot bosom. Within that multitude, hearts were enraptured and sorrows slipped away from their souls. Behold too, the sea confessed who had established it within its spacious bed, the King gloriously mighty, for it had made itself firm to tread upon when god willed to walk upon its waves: the watery current did not dare to swamp its Lord's feet in its flood. And trees too, not just a few, but many, proclaimed who had fashioned them with their foliage, when mighty God mounted upon one of them there where he suffered torments for humanity's need, and a loathsome death for the relief of the peoples. Many a tree beneath its bark was then streaked with bloody tears, red and viscous: the sap was turned into blood. By no wise awareness can earth-dwellers tell how much those inanimate forms of creation which cannot feel, experienced the suffering of the Lord. Those which are the noblest of earth's species and the lofty structure of heaven too, all on account of that lone man, were grieved and gripped with fear. Though of their natures they knew no spiritual awareness, even so they miraculously sensed when their Ruler departed from the body. People, men blind of heart, harder than flints, could not confess the Ordainer, nor that the Lord, all-wielding God, by his holy powers had saved them from the torment of hell. This, at the very first, from the world's beginning, men of forethought, prophets of the Lord, holy men discerning of mind, out of their wise awareness have told people not once but often about the noble Child - that he, the precious Stone, should come into the world as refuge and solace to all mankind, heaven's Lord and the Author of happiness, by that noble woman.