A work in progress

                            The Epic of Jesus the Christ

(We've had epics in the past that tell of heroic deeds of men and demigods of myth, the earliest sung by poets. In Western literature there's the Iliad and the Odyssey which scholars believe were composed by a blind Greek poet Homer. His work served as a model for later writers. Greek and Roman literary critics laid down rules based on Homer, which included an invocation, a dignified style and a placement called in media res (in the middle of things―it didn't begin at the beginning).

The French had an epic called Song of Roland; the English, Beowulf; the Spanish, Poem of El Cid; and the Germans, the Nibelungenlied (lied = a song).   There's others such as Dante's Divine Comedy and Milton's Paradise Lost.  Here's an effort to compose an epic about the greatest hero of all time, The One Who truly deserves an epic!)

                                                   * * * * * *

O help us sing of Christ in story, of Jesus, His Greatness and  His Glory!   O we of frailed being, of veiled eyes in seeing.  He suffered for our sake not as a demigod of myth but as The God Who united Himself to our flesh and kind, The Savior  Who could've commanded heavenly legions, but instead combated evil and darkness by His virtuous life and His stunning, heroic sacrifice.   He was the Greek Christos, "the anointed one," the Light of the World,

His coming down to earth was necessitated by the predicament brought about by Adam and Eve, the first human beings. While Eve was instrumental in what happened, Adam represented the race, and made a decisive choice for the race: for their progeny.   Sadly, he disobeyed and its consequences have fallen on us, something akin a rich man who loses his wealth, and no longer has it it to bequeath to his descendants.


It's beyond our grasp of understanding,
How something comes from nothingness;
But for God, His will commanding:
It becomes existent, nothing less.

What He beckons forth into being,
Are the creatures all, we are seeing.

Lo even what we see not:
The unseen that He begot.

With threads sewn unseen,
A body's knit unto a soul:
The two, with naught between,
Together form a whole.

And as God doth bind,
We become our kind.

The creation of Adam, was when
Our earthling race began;
From that moment then,
Appeared His creature man.

While Adam emerg'd from the dust of earth,
Eve differ'd from him, in manner of birth:
From Adam's rib, God did fashion her,
From that part of him, did her life bestir.

From the body's protective bone
That shields the inner us, and heart,
From that costal part, his own,
Came woman, at the very start.

From Hebrew ish the word for man,
Came the word for woman isha:
And from Adam with whom the race began,
Derived the woman, this Eva.

And thus, at the human dawn,
Was she from Adam drawn.

And Adam said of her, there fresh and pure:
She's "bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh,"
Her beauty in being did Adam allure,
And the heart of him was caught in her mesh.

There in the species morning rays,
She held Adam's aborning gaze.

Eve was created a helpmate to be ,
With intellect, and will made free,
The second of genders God designed,
The pattern fore'er for human kind.

She was a creature very like his own!
And no longer was Adam, a human alone.
The two were set a task to obey:
Eat not a fruit, the Lord did say.

The Fall from Grace

Alas, O woe!
For all our kind
There lurked a peril so,
Upon a limb entwined!

When humanity had just begun,
A serpent spoke, with a forked tongue!
With cunning, sin it sought to enlace,
And knot it to, the human race.

A serpent would the woman deceive:
And lead the woman to misperceive;
Alas, the fruit the woman sadly ate,
Her appetite did sadly sate.

Lo what had taken place,
Was gone was holy grace!
The grace to sanctify
Away from them did fly!
And now, they both'd die.

The serpent tongue,
It spoke to her a lie;
There nigh the fruit there hung,
He tempted through her eye...

That day in Paradise,
She should've looked away...
When sin he did disguise
And led her and Adam astray!

In Adam God had breathed his life in breath,
But now his nostril did scent, the smoke of death.

Like a fruit of a tree, O fallen to earth and spoiled,
With Adam our nature fell, and fallen, was besoiled;
The serpent was delighted, as on the tree it coiled.

Lo Adam could've been fore'er a saint,
But his sin did him and his progeny taint!

O attend! Adam decided for the species,
When he disobeyed God's catecheses.
Alas, his fallen nature we inherit,
And his legacy lost, we must bear it.

'Twas impossible for finite man,
To repair for this offense:
To bridge an infinite span,
So great, and so immense!

The Need of a Redeemer

Still man, would need atone.
Yet in verity, only God alone,
Could suffice to satisfy...
So He came down from High,
To join our race, in Perfect worth,
To mend our plight upon the earth.

The angel Gabriel was assigned
To the special mission to our kind;
With plumed wings flew down to a Virgin Blest,
To a Galilean town, at God's behest.

To a town by the name of Nazareth,
Where words awaited passed from breath,
He announced the Messiah to the Virgin Mary:
That the Son of God she
'd conceive and carry.

'Twas like a trumpet's clarion call,
That echoes
through the ages all!

She was the perfect vessel who brought
Perfection into the world!
In holiness He was wrapped and wrought,
And from Him Redemption unfurled.

She was The Immaculate Conception,
To crush the devil's deception!

When Mary understood what she'd heard,
She said, Be it done according to thy word.
And in her, a mortal she,
Into this world, He came to be.

Our Embryonic Lord
And God's own Fetal Son,
Once tied by maternal cord
To her, the Immaculate One.

He was given the name of Jesus,
―A name that fore'er should please us!

As Eve was instrumental in the Fall,
So Mary was instrumental in saving all.

The Holy Infant's Born

In Bethlehem He was humbly born,
By sheep whose wooly coats are shorn;
He was wrapped, this swaddled Lamb of God,
His tiny toes, His feet unshod.

He was laid in a manger where animals fed,
Prefiguring the Eucharist yet to come!
There laid on a humble bed,
And yet a King, the eternal from!

A sign of nourishment, ours to take,
The Holy One, Who the world did make.

Like the rays of sun that pass,
Through the purest of window glass...
He traversed His mother in such a way,
That a virgin birth in honor we say.

Like through a Nativity window,
In a hushed and holy place,
Appear'd the Savior Whom we know,
His Light ashine and holy Grace.

Perhaps on barley straw, He'd lain
With slender stems of winnowed wheat;
And a few kernels of clinging grain
―This fodder, His royal throne and seat.

The wise men came on camel beast;
These travelers of ancient road,
They came from somewhere East,
And found the King, and gifts bestowed:
       Lo, on Him they did confer
       Gold and frankincense and myrrh.

They thought the Child surely great,
For such a trip to contemplate.
They'd followed a shining star,
And journeyed from
a land afar

As an infant He felt the cold to shoulder
In a cave with cloudlets of animal breath.
As God He knew, when He was older,
He'd undergo a Passion to death.
         His suffering fore'er in view:
         Of what He would go through.

At Home with His Family

Upon Him the universe doth depend,
Yet upon His mother He trusts His needs;
For Himself He could verily fend,
Yet on His mother's milk He feeds.

Then from Joseph's labor, they trade
For grain to bake a wheaten bread,
With honey to sweeten the morsels made,
To put to mouth, where Truth be said.

Presenting Him in the Temple

They took him to Jerusalem, where
They presented Him in the Temple there:
the glory of the people Israel.

Yet Simeon also foretold the friction
That would arise from contradiction.
He told to Mary, the Mother of the Lord,
her heart would pierced be by sword.

The Mosaic Law to accord,
They'd offered two pigeons or a pair of dove.
Yes poor they were, no more afford,
Yet rich with One from up

Jesus Grows

Under the eyes of hearts so true,
Of Joseph and Mary, their Jesus grew:
His parents joyed when He first spoke
And at His smile when He awoke.

They witness when He tries
To catch a bird He sees;
And see the bird as up it flies,
As He crawls upon His knees.

As time goes on, a step He'll take,
And more and more the effort make.

A stone in His path to stumble on,
They'd show Him how to step around,
And clods of dirt that crumble on,
To return to dust of earthen ground.

As a Boy and Young Man

As Jesus older and longer grew
He'd watch as Joseph fashion'd a plow,
To furrow the soil, unbroken through:
He watched as Joseph worked and how.

When He began to take up tool,
He was truly in a carpenter school.

He sawed in Joseph's shop,
With dust a-falling from the wood;
With an axe He'd hew and chop,
Its chips flew nigh to where He stood:
And from a chisel He did wield,
Fell shavings from the wood He peeled.

All of His youth, 'twas wood He faced:
Alas on that, He would be placed.

To Jerusalem at Age Twelve

n the shop were handles to helve,
To guide a plow the ground to cleft;
Yet, when in Jerusalem at Twelve,
He thought of other labor left
The business of
               The Father above.

So He stayed behind,
The Father's Will in mind.

His parents missed Him, homeward bound,
And returned in sorrow to find their Boy;
After three days, He was in
temple found;
Their tears, then turned to joy...

He was conversing with the teachers wise,
Who marveled at Him, before their eyes.

Even though His parents felt sad,
In staying back He did naught bad:
But rather the tasks of heavenly Father!
Yet, loath to cause His parents bother:
He went with Joseph and Mary home,
And dwelt with them in Hebrew Shalom.

Baptized as a Man

But the day'd come, when He
About His Father's business, would be:
When t
he Baptist stood at Jordan's flow,
A penitent's baptism to
there bestow.

Lo, Jesus came from Galilee,
To the river..and John with Jesus pled:
The baptism ought be done by thee
But Jesus hindered him instead...
For the sake of justice, let it be.

Then obeying Jesus, John
Poured water Him upon.

And after the water was poured,
The Spirit descended upon Our Lord:
In coming down from up above,
He alighted in the form of dove.

And Heaven's portal did ope
O'er Jordan's flowing stream;
It was a sign of hope,
all who Heaven dream.

The Father spoke that day,
And was heard from Heaven say:
Thou art My Beloved Son
In Whom I am well pleased:
Thus, was manifest the Triune One!
Not something mythic, like the Hesperides

―Those of Grecian tale, the daughters of the eve,
   Oft said to dwell beyond the set of sun,
   The golden apples guarding
                                          from those who'd thieve...
    But heed!  The Trinity isn't mythic spun!

When Jesus was Baptized there,
We may
with Writ compare:
the Jordan was parted and pent,
And downstream
its water went,
Joshua crossed to the Promised Land
While Jesus parted its waters, there to stand,
He showed the way to the Promised Strand

To heav'n as round Him was water broken:
A path of penance and grace, it did betoken.

His Work with Disciples

John told disciples, "Behold the Lamb of God
Who takes away the sins of the world!"
They followed the
Savior, sandal-shod,
His work with others, being now unfurled.

And passing by the inland sea,
The shore awash of Galilee,

He saw Peter and Andrew casting net,
And spoke to these with seine He met
"Come, follow me, I'll make you fishers of men,"
And farther on He invited once again:

He saw John and James
, the sons of Zebedee,
At their nets, its corded mesh there mending,
hey were more of the Apostles yet to be...
And they followed, no longer nets a-tending.

He'd come to earth to faith impart,
To stir belief in the human heart.

The Pharisee's asked when the Kingdom,
When he realm of God would come...
Jesus spoke it's in your midst, you among;
They heard it spoken from His tongue.

The Messiah was already reigning, the Son,
The Kingdom of God had already begun!
With faith they could it grasp,
And with justice and love, it enclasp.

The Wedding of Cana

Jesus and His disciples came
To a wedding Feast of Cana fame
Mary said to Him, "They have no wine."
And Jesus responded the hour's not mine;

Yet something transpired between the two;
She told attendants:
                             whatever He tells you, do.

Perhaps seeing what her eyes did impart,
He honored the wish of a mother's heart.
He allowed her to intercede:
To perform a wonder, He then agreed.

Jesus said, the jars with water fill,
And they filled the vessels to the brim;
But wonder of wonder: wine came forth to spill!
--At Mary's request, a miracle worked by Him!

Then Jesus said to take what water had been,
To the steward head of wedding then,
And from whence it came the steward knew nought
But the attendants knew, 'twas by Jesus wrought.

When the steward tasted the wine,
He said everyone serves the better first,
But told the groom, it's not so with thine;
He saw the order reversed.

In terms of his taste for thirst
The flavor from
the ripen'd grape that burst.

And time to follow, at Mass the wine,
Would be changed into the Sacrificed:
Before we
at Communion dine,
changed into the Blood of Christ!

What made the tongue of the steward, wetter,
And pleasured him so with its vinted flavor,  
the Holy Mass, it's Infinitely better!
It re-presents The Infinite Savior!

He was human born, for our sake,
To save the world that He enter'd in:
The Redemptive path
that Jesus would take,
The path of  suff'ring and dying for sin.

The Transfiguration

He took His disciples up the mountain to pray
Where the Testament New would see the Old;
Elijah and Moses
did meet with Jesus that day,
And the
Here, the Hereafter did behold.

"His face shone as the sun," so bright,
His garments like snow, so white.

And for those that Peter did see,
He wished to sew a tent, for the three
But his request was not allowed,
And they were enveloped in a cloud.

As Jesus stood transfigured, two worlds astride,
The others they stayed, each to their side.

In an unsettled kind of way,
We're like nomads upon the land;
We're not here forever to stay,
But are bound to heaven's strand:
here to always abide
bound to the after side.

Agony in the Garden

He underwent the Agony in the Garden
For our mercy and for our pardon;
In suff'ring, His brow was ruddy wet,
His Blood, it mingled with His sweat.

And olives grew on Gethsemane soil,
A name that means a press for oil
A word in the Aramaic tongue,
Suggesting how His Blood was wrung
From His Body, so greatly under stress,
Its tiny vessels squeezed, as in a press.

In agony Jesus shed His precious Blood,
That fallen to earth, formed a redden mud.
Our bodies are made of dust of the ground,
O joy, if His saving Blood, in us be found.

He sweat to repair for Adam's deed,
And for us, O we
of Adam's seed;
Not only for his sin but that of
his kin:
For all of us since Eden's been.

And kneeling, He fell to the ground
And prayed, the Father's will be done
O let us so incline, and so be found,
That the Father's will and ours be one.

To Him all knees should bend,
All heads should humbly bow...
He suffered in this world to mend,
For those gone and the living now.

From Gethsemane they led Him away,
Like beast to slaughter in dark, not day;
He met His captors and for our sake,
He allowed them, O Him to take.

With torches borne in night, aflame,
They came, the Nazarene to claim;
Iscariot would Him betray,
And Christ they'd seize and take away.

The Scourging at the Pillar

They swung their whips and the Lord did thresh;
With their terrible scourges they ripp'd! His Flesh.

If thongs were tipped with metal or bone,  1
The whip would rip the dermal, unsewn;
And drawn like a rake across the skin,
It'd furrow the flesh--a harrow of sin.

Yet God uses His flesh so torn, such terrible tillage!
To grow grace for us, from each land and village.

Lo, those who pursue the sins of the flesh,
In the scourging of Jesus, themselves enmesh;
And those who support such sensual sin,
Will find that the scourge, their hand is in.

Today's abortion is human barbarity!
It lacks in love and lumens of clarity.
It's woven in the whip of a permissive hand
Of those who support it across the land!

Abortion's slaughter and same-gendered sin,
Disobey what the Holy Writ, is in.

Crowning with Thorns

They crowned Him with thorns of pain:
A headache e'en worse than one's migraine.
The thorns may've pierced the skull of the Lord,
If so, His cranium with them was gored!

O sharpish crown, without any jewel!
Yet! a drop of Blood from out His head,
From thorns that stick and hurt so cruel,
Came a precious gem in a hue of Red...

O Ruby of infinite worth!
A Jewel that's valued more,
Than all the treasures of earth,
Than all the amber washed ashore.

The sticking thorns, we may liken to nail,
They pierce His head, as they impale!

The Carrying of the Cross

He carried the weight of the Cross that day,
Up Calvary hill, where Him they'd slay;
Upon His shoulder its wood He heft ,
And on
the wood, His stain was left.

The bite in the fruit in the midst of the Garden,
It left the bitter, terrible taste of the Fall;
But the bite in the Fruit of the Womb brought pardon:
The bite of the Cross, brought sweetness for all.
--For us to savor for all eternity,
His favor through Mary's maternity.

A Jesus weakened, under His burden fell;
A passer-by, one Simon of Cyrene,
They compelled, to
carry the Cross as well,
As he followed the steps of the Nazarene.

The Sacred drops of Blood He shed..
The fell, where His burden'd Body bled;
It's accounted
one Seraphia, without fail,
Did wipe His face with her veil...

She's known as Veronica in Christian lore,
From the phrase vera icon--an "image true":
The Suffering Face of Him we adore,
Before the Cross, He was fixed thereto.

The Crucifixion

They drove the piercing nails into each limb: 2
Into His hands, amid the carpels of wrist,
And lower spikes
, into the feet of Him!
Thus He suffer'd, that we'd fore'er be blissed.
Such cruelty inflicted
on His body He felt!
Alas, our sin
s with Him so dealt.

They'd fastened Him to, a Cross of wood
Which on the hill of Calvary stood;
In His body flesh o'er skeletal bone,
He suffered
so much, for sin to atone...
Each nail, its metal, in Christ it sticks
And holds Him fast, there crucifixed!

The Wheaten Grain, now beaten, made grist,
Is baked in the Bread of His Presence!
Yea, Jesus the Christ Who hung by
His wrist,
Obtains for us, His Heavenly Essence.

Against the Cross of wood, rough hewn,
His Blood was smeared and ruddily strewn.
His wounded torso rubbed the wood,
His weight on nailed feet, where He stood.

He gasped for air to draw His breath,
As the sands of time count down His death.

He uttered these words, His last:
"Father into Thy hands I commend my Spirit,"
Like a mariner asea, calling avast!
He said it aloud, and they could hear it.

Thus Jesus died and paid a great price,
His Infinite Being did there suffice!

A darkness shrouded the land,
And beneath the Cross there mourning,
Were the women and John at hand,
As Redemption was aborning.

They took Him down from where He hung
And lovingly wrapped Him in linen cloth:
Bereft of spirit, the dead among,
Around Him they wrapped the linen swath

With the linen fabric, flaxen made,
He was wrapped with aloes and myrrh;
And the women saw where He was laid,
Where His body they did inter.

His Resurrection

He'd come forth in life, from His mother's womb,
And now came forth, from another's tomb,
A sepulchre cut of rock, for Joseph of Arimathia,
A secret disciple, from the province of Judea.

The women went, with His body assemble,
To anoint with spices at the dawn of day;
The earth disturbed, did quake and tremble,
And an angel rolled the stone away!

Two men in dazzling raiment, spoke to them, and said
"Why do you seek the Living One among the dead?
He isn't here.." He's risen and goes before thee,
Unto Galilee, and Jesus there you'll see.

The guards came to tell the chief priests
Of what happened in their sight;
The priests gave money, to say The Deceased,
Was stolen by His disciples during the night.

This falseness, then was spread,
From what the priests had said!

But Jesus appeared to some He knew,
Thus proving the Resurrection true.

Road to Emmaus

On the road to Emmaus He walked,
And came up to disciples, as on they talked
And spoke of events that had occurred;
And for them, He interpreted what they'd heard--
The Scripture from Moses and prophets all
And what to Jesus would befall.

They recognized Him not, the truth of His Being,
Their eyes were held, from His visage seeing.

As it was growing late in the day
They bid Him tarry, and with them stay;
At the meal, He blessed and broke the Bread,
They knew Him then, The Risen from dead!

And now so many years away,
Lo, many eyes are not held today,
If only they'd grasp what Scripture's said,
They'd recognize Him in the Breaking of Bread.

Appearing to Others

For fear of the Jews, the disciples were shut in a room;
The doors were locked, none entry could assume.
Yet through the barrier, Jesus passed, unhindered inside,
Like light through glass, He appeared where they did bide.

He appear'd to eleven at table,
And upbraided them for lack of belief,
That He'd arisen was no fable,
Nor was He taken away by thief.

Sending Disciples Forth

And then He sent His disciples forth
To preach the gospel to every creature,
To the east and west,
the south and north...
He commissioned them
to be a preacher.

They went out into the world,
To teach all people, woman and man,
The youthful lad and the
pretty girled:
The truth of the Way: God's holy plan.

There was no Bible yet to thumb:
The Holy Writ was yet to come;
In a future afar, a time unnear,
For then, it was spoken words to hear.

* * * * *
For the pain He endured, to us Redeem,
We owe Him
so much of our Esteem.

To be in heaven with Him,
The angels, the blessed and Seraphim,
To reach our eternal destiny,
Christ wrought the best for me.

No greater Hero has e'er there been,
Across the world so vast and wide,
He suffer'd for the sake of men,
That in lasting joy we may abide.

                                           John Riedell

1. The Roman flagrum was a short whip with several leather thongs with pieces of metal or bone which beat into the flesh.  

2. The hand is made up of wrist (carpus), the palm proper (metcarpus), and the digits, (four fingers and thumb). The heel of the hand, closest to the bones of the forearm, consists of the eight carpal bones. Here the ligaments are stronger than in the middle of the palm, where it's believed the nail would tear through. Within the carpal bones is a space, where "most medical experts claim that the nails were placed."

Return to Home Page    


Copyright 2006 - John Riedell - All Rights Reserved
Site Last Updated on 04/04/18