THE TREES OF LIFE

Mikhail Vasilyevich Nesterov (1862–1942), “Resurrection”
Courtesy WikiArt

Leaves are growing on the trees
I have no leaves—my limbs are bare—
But no, said Jesus, look at Me
I am the sun who is aware

There will be blossoms and green leaves
I am the sun who feels and thinks,
There will be rain if you believe
And one who trusts My promise drinks

The dry will shrivel and grow not
Their emerald will turn to black,
Fall and on the desert rot,
But those who love Me will not lack

April is the month, I mean
The day the trees of life turn green


 

ALL AT ONCE

William Hatherell (1855–1928), “Then Came Jesus and Stood in Their Midst”
Courtesy Meisterdrucke

It seemed to them He had entered the room
Had walked through the door they had locked and sealed
But He had been there invisible
Their sight unlocked had then revealed

All at once the Man they knew
Standing among them, suddenly
Visible to those inside
Because in His presence they could see

Like that always, the Christ exists
Whether or not you know or sense
His presence with you, He is light
In the past and future, present tense

He is the life and way always
The sun that shines and the word that prays


 

WARM AS BEFORE

Fritz von Uhde (1848–1911), “Noli Me Tangere”
Neue Pinakothek, Munich
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Did He look like dead men
Mary Magdalene?
Do they walk, do they speak
Do the whip’s wounds leak?

They had seen Him die
Ruin doesn’t lie
Timeless and forever
Not mist on a mirror

Through time and space
Fingers left their trace
On the handle of a door
Warm as before

Worlds to generate
Himself to re-create


 

AND THIS SURVIVES

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1573–1610), “Supper at Emmaus”
Pinacoteca di Brera
Courtesy Wikipedia Commons

Can anyone believe that Jesus rose?
For all we know finality has won,
This flesh-machine that people call the body
Is not of God, nor does He have a Son

And yet there is a testimony given
By those who staked and lost their lives to give
Their witness to Messiah’s resurrection—
That those who give their lives away will live

Does there exist existence beyond this
Swift evanescent being on the Earth?
Or does the irony of Judas’ kiss
Reflect the grave futility of birth?

They saw Him, touched Him, gave their own sweet lives
In pledge of what they knew, and this survives