I’ve always been amazed at John Piper’s ability to write poems. Apart from an utterly
unforgettable forgettable poem I wrote for my future wife on Valentine’s day about 24 years ago, my poetic gifts have remained resolutely dormant, if not totally extinct.
But a few weeks ago, I sat down and thought, “I wonder if I could write a poem about Christ in each book of the Old Testament.” I sat at a blank screen thinking I’d still be there an hour later with no pixels to show for my effort. But then the “muse” descended upon me, and 30 hours later, lo and behold, I had 30 verses! It’s not exactly Robert Burns or William Shakespeare (maybe a bit limerick-ish in places), but still, I hope it gets the Old Testament’s Christ-centered message across in a slightly different way.
As you can see, we even made a video of it with some of the kids in my congregation. I understand that some of these poor children had “Jesus on Every Page” ringing in their ears for the next couple of days (and nights!)
You can download a pdf of the poem here, and feel free to embed and share the video and poem elsewhere. Meanwhile, John Piper’s position as the Poet Laureate of the Reformed world remains unthreatened.
Jesus On Every PageWhat do we find when we open this book Let’s open the covers and take a close look Wherever we turn, wherever we read A familiar name is what we meet It’s Jesus on every page He wasn’t idle and quiet for thousands of years Just watching and waiting till His turn drew near He was busy and active in grace and in power His mercy was growing – seed, bud, and flower It’s Jesus on every page He is the Word by whom all things were made The Promised Seed who defeats the Serpent’s raid He came as the Covenanter to save a people Abram saw His day, Jacob saw him as an Angel It’s Jesus on every page With the blood of a lamb He painted His salvation With an outstretched arm He defeated the Egyptian Redemption, Relationship, Rules in that order Dwelling with sinners, in the center, not the border It’s Jesus on every page He skillfully taught using visual theology Levitical Priests offered sacrifice daily No blood? No remission, no forgiveness of sin But need more than sheep, for conscience has pain It’s Jesus on every page The Father chastised His people’s rebellion The years numbered forty in the desert of Sin Yet still sent His Son to be their faithful leader Glory-cloud by day, by night a fiery pillar It’s Jesus on every page Moses chose Christ’s reproaches, and spoke of Him often But his sinful bad temper barred him from Canaan His last written work, Deuteronomy to author Where He promised THE prophet, “one like me, but better” It’s Jesus on every page Y’shua called Joshua to conquer the land He united the tribes into one mighty band Much good was accomplished, Israel greatly blessed But Y’shua gives better land, vict’ry and rest It’s Jesus on every page Jesus the Angel stopped Israel’s extinction He saved, and saved through, Barak, Samson, and Gideon Yet still each man did what in his eyes was right Believers scanned the horizon, no good king in sight It’s Jesus on every page Hope dawns in four chapters of godly romance God sends a redeemer, His kingdom to advance God says of a Gentile, “Ruth, you shall be mine!” A Moabite? Yes, in the Messianic line It’s Jesus on every page Hannah predicts God’s Anointed, Messiah, King David arises, “Is this our desire?” He is the man after God’s own heart Eternal king and kingdom now start? It’s Jesus on every page Yet, David, Solomon, and every successor Sin and fall short in serious measure Israel’s divided, then distant exile Faith in Messiah faces Babylon trial Is Jesus on any page? Yet God is still faithful, He keeps covenant Moves heathen king Cyrus, Israel to replant Nehemiah and Ezra rebuild with great joy God’s kingdom is coming, the devil to destroy It’s Jesus on every page But Satan’s still busy, Haman wants all Jews dead Messiah’s line and purpose now hangs by a thread Esther ventures by faith, her fate no one knows It’s her time, not Haman’s, he’s on the gallows It’s Jesus on every page Job’s innocent suffering no fault of his He’s sure precious gold is the end of all this Not only a picture of a Redeemer to come The Redeemer comes early and shows Job his home It’s Jesus on every page. We sing the Psalms to Him as God only wise We sing the Psalms of Him using faith as our eyes We sing the Psalms with him who sang them below In times of rejoicing, and when the tears flow It’s Jesus on every page From Worship leader to Wisdom teacher One greater than Solomon’s there and here Although Madam Folly may call us to whoredom In Jesus is hidden all knowledge and wisdom It’s Jesus on every page. The best life without Him is vanity of vanities The worst life with Him is verity of verities Education, possessions, cash, joy, toys, and friends, But what will they profit, if no Christ at the end. It’s Jesus on every page. I am the bridegroom seeking a bride A people to marry and love To nourish and cherish right at my side I can’t wait to come down from above I’m Jesus on every page I’m Wonderful, Counselor, the Prince of Peace I’m butchered for sinners in atoning sacrifice The Spirit’s upon me, good news for the meek To set free the captives and strengthen the week I’m Jesus on every page Jeremiah predicts I’ll make covenant new, A covenant effective, it’s something I’ll do, I’ll be you prophet, your priest, and your king, In grace I’ll forgive and forget all your sin. I’m Jesus on every page I’m calling the wicked, Turn why will you die I’m the good shepherd who tells you to fly I’m the new temple, God’s glory to share I’m Jehovah Shammah, the Lord who is there I’m Jesus on every page Two kingdoms are warring to death in Daniel The furious conflict is hot and hostile But in visions, in furnace, and in lions’ den Final victory’s mine, not devil’s or men. I’m Jesus on every page. Some of the prophets are smaller Their message is often quite grim But even there, jewels of Jesus are shining They still speak clearly of Him It’s Jesus on every page In Hosea He allures the unfaithful He promises His Spirit in Joel Obadiah says He’ll conquer the malign He uses useless Jonah as a sign It’s Jesus on every page In Amos, He roars like a lion In Micah, He pardons all our sins In Habakkuk, He gives hope in famine In Zephaniah, He sees us and sings It’s Jesus on every page. Nations’ glories flow to Jesus in Haggai Zechariah opens His fountain for sin In Malachi John the Baptist gets a mention Then 400 years of silence begin Where’s the Jesus on every page? Four centuries, no Jesus, no page Dark, dismal, depressing the age Then choirs of angels erupt in the skies Christ Jesus is born, with real human eyes Again, Jesus on every page No more just predictions and pictures No quick visits in mere human form He’s come to be like us and be with us Unleashing a devilish storm They hate Jesus on every page The Promised Seed bruised, but not beaten Four Gospels record His great win No longer pages dripping blood red Conqueror’s gold is the color instead We love Jesus on every page