It Was Cold at Calvary

It Was Cold at Calvary

One of the things I did on my leave of absence was write poems. Most of these grew out of meditating on God’s word. They are my groping toward affections worthy of Christ. Here’s one that overflowed from John 18:18, which drops the simple fact that the night before Jesus died it was cold.

Cold Calvary

“Now the servants and officers had made
a charcoal fire, because it was cold.”
–John 18:18

Did you know that on the night he was betrayed
Jerusalem was cold?
Did you know that it was cold?

When he broke his sweat and beads of sorrow rolled
Hot-steaming down his face,
Did you know that it was cold?

When the heart of Judas burned with greed, and sold
The priceless Son of Man,
Did you know that it was cold?

When his lips all pale and hot with terror, told
The soldiers who Christ was,
Did you know that it was cold?

When the voice beside the fire accused, “Behold!
You too were one of them!”
Did you know that it was cold?

When the priest boiled over, and his god extolled,
“This man has spoken blasphemy!”
Did you know that it was cold?

When the heart of Pilate failed, and he paroled
Barabbas, at the dawn,
Did you know that it was cold?

When our Maker hung with burning shame, and bold
Men cried, “Now save yourself,”
Did you know that it was cold?

And when Joseph took his bloody flesh to fold
It in the linen cloth,
Did you know that it was cold?

Surely, surely, if you know, though all the gold
That is, be offered you,
Never will your love grow cold?

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.