The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

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A Good Friday Poem by Mark Greene

The Mirror

Three ‘t’s on the scrubby hill, neatly crossed the Roman way,
The naked ‘i’s, skewered like worms, dotted burgundy with blood,
As clear to the passing eye as three billboards by a roadside:
Death to the thief. Death to the rebel. Death to the author of life,
Not even important enough to murder on his own, he,
Just one in three, the uprooted vine stretched out on a barren tree:

The anointed poured out, the gift scorned
The able disabled, the healer torn,
The way barred, the truth buried,
The life killed, the door bouldered,
The King mocked, the reconciler, reviled,
Grace, beauty, glory in spited spittle defiled,
The light snuffed out… Darkness at noon,
The world dancing to its self-enthroning tune,
The shepherd like a lamb to such slaughter.
The teacher taught his final lesson. In torture.

I know, I know on this Good Friday, that Sunday is but a blink away.
But this Friday is each and every year our ‘why’ day.
I look up from the water eddying out of the bathroom sink,
And see the billboard on the wall in front of me:
Whose rebellion required such grim reparations?
For whom would love submit to such savage butchery?
And the face on the billboard mouths slowly back, “Me”.

Mark Greene
Lent, 2018


Mark Greene


  1. Dear Mark

    By Ralph Cobham  -  29 Mar 2018
  2. …and ME

    By Mike Joyce  -  29 Mar 2018
  3. Profound and yet beautiful

    By Lindsay McMillan  -  29 Mar 2018
  4. Mark, that was so thought provoking… thank you for disturbing the ease in my soul, and drawing me back to the reality

    By Sue Bethel  -  29 Mar 2018
  5. Very thought provoking, always good to have a new way of looking at Good Friday.
    Especially the last line; we are all guilty.

    By Christine Kane  -  29 Mar 2018
  6. Great ……

    By Lisbet Diers  -  29 Mar 2018
  7. spine-tingling. thank you.

    By Frances Shoesmith  -  29 Mar 2018
  8. Like it.
    Says it all
    Reflects my thoughts
    Why Should it have happened that way?
    To save?
    Was it worth it ?
    Especially the state of the world today !

    Which is going to hell in a handcart!
    Perhaps northerners will understand that last bit.

    By Gwen Poole  -  29 Mar 2018
  9. Brilliant!
    May I use it in services if I credit you?
    Hope there’ll be a book of Mark’s poetry sometime…

    By Kate Byrom  -  29 Mar 2018
    • Hi Kate,

      Really glad you liked the poem. Yes, you’d be so welcome to use the poem in your service(s), as long as you credit Mark. Thanks for asking!

      All the best,

      By Nell Goddard  -  29 Mar 2018
  10. Powerful indeed

    By David Morgan  -  29 Mar 2018
  11. Beautifully crafted. Thank you.

    By Simon Shutt  -  29 Mar 2018
  12. I agree with all the above – my wife and I read it over breakfast and it has set us up spiritually for the next few days – thanks Mark.

    By Peter Swales  -  29 Mar 2018
  13. What can we say in the face of such furious love? As for me “nothing”
    I don’t have the gift. I thank the Lord, on the other hand, you do!

    By Gary Stacey  -  29 Mar 2018
  14. Thank you mark, for your deep thoughtful expression not looking at the cellophane wrapped obviousness of Good Friday, but drawing me deeper into it.

    By Phil Goldsmith  -  29 Mar 2018
  15. Wow!

    By Maureen  -  29 Mar 2018
  16. “Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to thy cross I cling”

    By Arthur Bates  -  29 Mar 2018
  17. Thank you.


    Whose hand held the nail?
    Whose calloused fist beat home
    The iron into blood stained wood
    Three times?
    How gracelessly was lifted high
    The healer, teacher, people’s friend?
    Who stood there mocking on Passover’s eve
    Scoffing blind to their Messiah’s pain?
    And as your heart reached out
    To those beside and those below,
    As blood and sweat dragged out by gravity
    Betrayed the ground
    As death eclipsed
    The Life
    There death expired
    For the ones who held the nails

    By Stef Downham  -  29 Mar 2018
  18. Brilliant, visceral and touching. Thank you Mark.

    By Clare L Phillips  -  29 Mar 2018
  19. A profound poem stripping us, and Jesus, back to who we really are. I have shared this poem on the intranet at work.

    By Stephen Evans  -  29 Mar 2018
  20. Mark
    So moved to read this. I share your mirror. Jon

    By Jonathan Templeman  -  29 Mar 2018
  21. Thanks so much, came at just the right time for me.

    By Graham Christopher  -  29 Mar 2018
  22. To the cross HE willingly went. Obedient to the end HE was. Dying a gruesome death just for me. Where would I be without the “GOOD FRIDAY “. Lord I’m eternally grateful.

    Thank you so much for writing this heart felt and moving poem.

    By Gloria Oparah  -  29 Mar 2018
  23. So powerfully expressed. OK to share on twitter?

    By Christine Grew  -  29 Mar 2018
    • Yes please do share the link on Twitter!


      By Nell Goddard  -  29 Mar 2018
  24. Many thanks Mark for enabling us to stop and embrace Good Friday. It is a day that we would rather rush pass so that we can get to Resurrection Sunday.

    By Frank Goveia  -  29 Mar 2018
  25. Thank you, Mark. It’s beautiful and striking.
    – Heather from Boston

    By Heather Lewis  -  29 Mar 2018
  26. Brilliant

    By Angela Somerton  -  29 Mar 2018
  27. Typically magnificent.

    By Lance Pierson  -  29 Mar 2018
  28. Beautiful

    By Moira Biggins  -  29 Mar 2018
  29. Savage and yet beautiful
    Thank you

    By tricia fiddian  -  29 Mar 2018
  30. Thank you, Mark, you have blessed me today.

    By Bill & Joy Armerding  -  29 Mar 2018
  31. Guilty but so loved by the King who gave his all.,forever grateful!

    By Cheryl  -  29 Mar 2018
  32. So evocative of so many agonising images, making me conscious of the healing wounds. Thank you for this. Such artistry with words. Keep painting the mind-pictures, and stirring hearts. Thank you.

    By Joy Perkins  -  29 Mar 2018
  33. Thanks Mark. Me too.

    By John  -  30 Mar 2018
  34. Fabulous! A modern take on the old hymn:

    Was it for me He bowed His head
    Upon the cross and freely shed
    His precious blood – that crimson tide
    Was it for me the Savious died?

    It was for me, yes all for me
    O love of God, so great so free
    O wondrous love, I’ll shout and sing
    He died for me my Lord and King.

    By Margaret McLean  -  30 Mar 2018
  35. Thank you too Steph Downham. Lots of comments helping us think further too.

    By Pauline Davis  -  30 Mar 2018
  36. Brilliant… simply brilliant… brought me to tears and prepared my heart for this day of quiet reflection and worship.. Un très grand merci!

  37. So powerful
    Thank you

    By Rob Hawkins  -  30 Mar 2018
  38. Dear Mike,
    I heard this poem for the first time during yesterday’s evening service at Oundle Road Baptist Church. Several of the congregation were so impressed that they have urged me to include it in the next church magazine (free of charge). Would this be possible?
    Thank you

    By Geoff Castle  -  16 Apr 2018
    • Thanks for the query Geoff, we’ve asked and one of the team will email you back directly!

      By josh.trickey  -  16 Apr 2018
  39. Our Vicar read this out at our Good Friday service this morning and it had a most profound effect on me. So powerful and moving. Thank you.

    By Karen Darling  -  19 Apr 2019
  40. This is so powerful – this Easter is going to be different in so many ways, but we will perhaps meditate more deeply on the sufferings and sacrifice of the Lamb of God and how personal it is for us. Thank you!

    By Paul Richardson  -  30 Mar 2020

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