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.