The Second Temptation

 

Second Temple (model, seetheholyland.net)

Second Temple model, seetheholyland.net

There is the shofar sounding,
Welcoming the dawn.
And over there the sun
Rises over the hills.
It’s good, for despite the heat
Of climbing all those stairs
It is chilly here, so early.

The priests offer the sacrifice,
The start of the day’s worship,
And the crowd gathering,
Await the blessing.
It was a long, tiring climb,
In the dim half-light,
But worth it for this view.

Oh yes,
I see the pavement,
Way down there,
So far,
And yet only a step away.

You are right,
It would be easy
To take that step;
And it would resolve everything.
Either a quick end, or
Vindication.
God’s word proven,
Angel hands guarding,
A soft landing.

The crowds would see,
Someone would notice
And spread the word.
What need of further proof?
Of discussion, signs, wonders?
It would be an easy victory.

Too easy.
For  though I will fall
(And be caught by my Father)
It will not be right here,
Nor just yet.

You should look further,
Old Enemy.
See that hill beyond the valley?
There’s a garden there
Where I’ll fall down
Under the weight of destiny.

And over there,
Beyond the temple
And the Roman citadel
Is a path.
I’ll fall there, too,
Under the weight of a crossbar.

And on that small hill
Outside the city
I’ll fall yet again.
Far further than these few feet
You tempt me to now.

I’ll fall—You’ll win
For a while.
Then you’ll fall—I’ll win
Forever.

 

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