My name is Anne Peterson, and I write poetry to give hope. I remember in 1971 when I was a new Christian, I sat with an open Bible, and within one hour, this poem came to me.

 

I’ve tried so hard to understand what Jesus did for me

The Bible says that he came down and died to make us free

But as I think about the pain that he went through that day

I just can’t understand it, Lord. Was there no other way?

 

I read about the beatings; they beat you endlessly

A purple robe hung on your back; they mocked you heartlessly

They made a crown of thorns, and then they placed it on your head

But not to show you honor, but mockery instead

And such humiliation; they spit upon your face

A wooden cross laid on your back to bear in full disgrace

They ripped the beard off of your face and you were led away

With all that pain you undertook, was there no other way?

 

He whispers, “I love you; that’s why I died for thee”

He whispers, “I love you; that’s why on Calvary

I hung there and bled there, your sins to wash away

Believe me when I tell you this; there was no other way”

 

But, Jesus, in your nakedness you hung upon that tree

They nailed a sign above your head for all the world to see

It said you were ‘King of the Jews’ and though those words were true

They chose not to believe them, and they rejected you

They wagged their heads and laughed aloud as they made fun of you

But you said, “Please forgive them for the know not what they do”

They pierced your side; your blood ran forth, my sins to wash away?

 

Lord, I think I understand; there was no other way

You could have beckoned angels and come down from that tree

Instead, you chose to die so I could live eternally

You hung there and bled there, my sins to wash away

And, Lord, I understand it now; there was no other way.

 

Ann also recorded this poem in a podcast.  Listen to it here.