Below is a poem I wrote while pondering the significance of the New Covenant begun through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Particularly, I focused on the significance that Christ laid in the grave on the Sabbath but rose on the First day of the week. May it renew your heart’s longing for our Risen Savior as we look forward to celebrating Him this Easter.
“The New First Day” by Chad Ashby
On the Sabbath Day, He rested,
Son of Man, a tomb for a bed—
Tired, weary from his testing
With nowhere else to lay his head.
But on the First Day, He rose up
From His sleep and well-earned slumber,
The faithful Son of God to sup
And taste the fruits of his hard labor.
On the Sabbath day, a Stone
Blocked the way twixt God and man;
Death—the stumbling block alone
Erect, immovable did stand.
But on the First Day, Rolled the Stone
An angel to welcome men inside;
God in a tomb? No, He was gone,
His presence to fill the whole worldwide.
On the Sabbath day, the Darkness
Fiercely crushed the hopeless land.
Ichabod—no glorious presence,
An extinguished flame, a snuffed lampstand.
But on the First Day, came the Light;
Immanuel returned to be
Blinding brightness ending night,
“God with us” in victory.
On the Sabbath Day, the Curse
Of God’s law in silence lay,
Satisfied from last to first
All commands in every way.
But on the First Day, came the Blessing
To the Son obedient to death;
Every tongue and voice confessing,
“Jesus is Lord,” upon their breath.
On the Sabbath Day, God finished
The undoing of what was done;
Serpent crushed, and sin was punished,
On the cross, His justice won.
But on the First Day, God began
A New Creation through His Son;
The Word of God, “Renewed!” commanded
Heavens and Earth again to become.
On the Sabbath Day, God’s wrath
Against his lost and wayward sheep
Happily was put to rest
And tucked into eternal sleep.
But on the First Day, “Peace, not fear,”
Spoke the tender Shepherd’s voice
To each disciple’s longing ear
Among his lovely flock of choice.
On the Sabbath Day, the Bride
Tossed and turned upon her bed;
“Have you seen him whom my soul loves?”
An awful dream inside her head.
But on the First Day, the Groom returned
With smoky columns from afar,
Perfumed with frankincense and myrrh,
Crowned with gladness in his heart.
On the Sabbath Day, the Garden
Sang a somber, mournful song,
The Son of God and Son of Adam,
Thorns had pierced his head and palm.
But on the First Day, the Gardener
Rose from where He lay to lead
His Helper in tending evermore
The Kingdom across the earth to spread.
On the Sabbath Day, the Son
Joined His Father in repose,
Victory clenched, defeat assured
O’er death and hell and all his foes.
But on the First Day, worked the Spirit
New birth to the world to bring
Death to life in those who hear it:
The Gospel of the Risen King.