Holy Week: Good Friday

He Bore Our Anguish

(Hy Droech Onse Smerten)
Jacobus Revius (Dutch, 1586 -1658)
Translated by Charles D. Tate, BYU
Published in BYU Studies, 15.1 (Autumn 1974) p. 103

It was not the Jews, Lord Jesus, who crucified you,
Nor the traitors who dragged you to the law,
Nor the contemptuous who spit in your face
Nor those who bound you, or hit you full of wounds,
And it was not the soldiers who with evil hands
Lifted up the reed, or the hammer,
Or set that cursed wood on Golgotha,
Or cast lots and gambled for your robe;
It is I, O Lord, it is I who have done it,
I am the heavy tree that overburdened you,
I am the rough hands that bound you,
The nail, the spear, and the cords that whipped you,
The bloodied crown that tore your head:
All this happened, alas! for my sins.


Stabat Mater dolorosa


  1. Kristine says:

    Many thanks to Mark Brown, who introduced me to the Charles Tate translation!

  2. Kristine, I want to thank you again and again and again for this wonderful series.

  3. I’ve seen this image of personal participation in the passion in nineteenth-century American evangelical writings as well. it’s a fascinating theme.

  4. If He’s dead on Friday, how can he have been entombed for three days and still be resurrected on Sunday? Not only did early Christians celebrate Sabbath on Saturday alongside the Jews (hence the account of Christians in Jerusalem being barred from synagogues and the reference to paying back loans on Sunday, because you couldn’t pay for anything on the Sabbath), but the days associated with the resurrection and crucifixion didn’t arise until long after Christ’s death (e.g., Paul never so much as alludes to them).

    That, plus a bunch of other ludicrous elements render the tails of His death in the New Testament altogether implausible. For example, it’s a full day’s walk between Herod’s palace and Pilate’s palace, so they couldn’t have gone back and forth as the story relates. And the account of the sanhedrin meeting is altogether fictionalized and corresponds not at all to they way they were believed to have conducted business based on other evidence.

    But no matter how many facts point to the inaccuracy of the accounts of His death, it’s clear that the New Testament accounts of His resurrection are completely and unquestionably accurate.

  5. D. Allen says:

    Actually, a quick search of the LDS Scripture website for the phrase
    “first day of the week”
    brings the following results:

    “Now when Jesus was arisen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.” Mark 16:9

    “The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.” John 20:1

    As far as the actual day of death, I am completely and utterly clueless.

  6. Thanks Kristine. Good Friday to all.

  7. DKL, as Mr. Deity said, it wasn’t FOR three days, it was DURING three days. Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Those are three days.

  8. Kevin Barney says:

    Kristine, every year we in the Bloggernacle, myself included, bellyache about the lack of a Mormon sensitivity to Holy Week. You have managed to actually do something meaningful to help remedy that lack. This has been a wonderful series; thank you so much for doing it.

  9. Kristine says:

    DKL, I think you’re right, although I’m not quite sure why it’s relevant here. It seems clear to me that the celebration of Holy Week is participation in a devotional tradition, not an historical reenactment. I don’t see how that’s a problem…

  10. Jonathan Green says:

    Kristine, you probably know this one already, but there’s a German treatment of the same theme from Paul Gerhardt. I hear that the text has been set to some pretty good music, too.

  11. Kristine says:

    Jonathan–thanks! I knew the 3rd and 4th stanzas that Bach set in the St. John’s & St. Matthew’s, but didn’t know all of them. One might be tempted to make snide remarks about whatever it is in the German character that needs 14 verses to express the sentiment ;)

  12. Jonathan Green says:

    C’mon, 14 verses or more were all the rage back then. If you checked a first edition of Revius, how many more verses would you find in Dutch?