I meet my Saviour at Golgotha

Sabbath evening. Great Hall, Durham Castle.

Bach: “St John Passion”.

A night of solitude. I needed this. To hear You speak.

Nights like these I take so often, I wonder if I were ever an I, rather than an E.

Kidron. The scene is John 18.

A cup, You say.

John 18: 11 

“Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?”

The necessary death of Christ.

Drinking God’s cup of wrath, Jesus Christ transformed it into the Cup of Life.

I wondered.

Then, these struck me, as these shrill German voices rung through the air.

17. Chorale
Flauto traverso I/II e Oboe I e Violino I col Soprano, Oboe II e Violino II coll’Alto, Viola col Tenore, Continuo
Ach großer König, groß zu allen Zeiten,
Ah, great King, great in all ages,
Wie kann ich gnugsam diese Treu ausbreiten?
How can I make my faithfulness in any way adequate?
Keins Menschen Herze mag indes ausdenken,
No human heart can conceive
Was dir zu schenken.
what gift is fit to offer You.
Ich kann’s mit meinen Sinnen nicht erreichen,
My mind cannot imagine 
Womit doch dein Erbarmen zu vergleichen.
what can be compared to Your mercy.
Wie kann ich dir denn deine Liebestaten
How then can I match Your loving deeds
Im Werk erstatten?
by anything I do ?

19. Arioso Bass
Viola d’amore I o Violino I solo con sordino, Viola d’amore II o Violino II solo con sordino, Liuto o Organo 8va, Organo, Cembalo 8va
Betrachte, meine Seel, mit ängstlichem Vergnügen,
Consider, my soul, with anxious delight,
Mit bittrer Lust und halb beklemmtem Herzen
with bitter pleasure and a heart partly oppressed
Dein höchstes Gut in Jesu Schmerzen,
that Your highest good depends on Jesus’ sorrow,

Wie dir auf Dornen, so ihn stechen,
how for you from the thorns that pierce Him
Die Himmelsschlüsselblumen blühn!
heavenly flowers blossom!

Du kannst viel süße Frucht von seiner Wermut brechen
You can gather so much sweet fruit from His wormwood
Drum sieh ohn Unterlass auf ihn!
therefore look unceasingly towards Him!

24. Aria B e Coro
Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo
Eilt, ihr angefochtnen Seelen,
Hurry , you tormented souls,
Geht aus euren Marterhöhlen,
leave your dens of torment,
Eilt – Wohin ? – nach Golgatha!
Hurry – Where to? –to Golgotha!
Nehmet an des Glaubens Flügel,
Take the wings of faith,
Flieht – Wohin? – zum Kreuzeshügel,
Fly – Where to? – to the hill of the cross,
Eure Wohlfahrt blüht allda!
there your salvation flourishes!

31. Recitative
Continuo
Evangelist:
Und neiget das Haupt und verschied.
And He bowed His head and passed away

32. Aria Bass and Chorus
Violino I col Soprano, Violino II coll’Alto, Viola col Tenore, Continuo
Mein teurer Heiland, laß dich fragen,
My beloved Saviour, let me ask You,
da du nunmehr ans Kreuz geschlagen
since You have now been nailed to the cross
und selbst gesagt: Es ist vollbracht,
and You Yourself have said : It is accomplished,
bin ich vom Sterben frei gemacht?
have I been set free from death?
Kann ich durch deine Pein und Sterben
Through Your pain and death can I
das Himmelreich ererben?
inherit the kingdom of heaven?
Ist aller Welt Erlösung da?
Is this the redemption of the whole world?
Du kannst vor Schmerzen zwar nichts sagen;
You can indeed not speak for anguish;
doch neigest du das Haupt
but You bow Your head
und sprichst stillschweigend: ja
and silently say : Yes!
Jesu, der du warest tot,
Jesus, You were dead,
lebest nun ohn Ende,
and now live for ever,
in der letzten Todesnot
in my final agony of death
nirgend mich hinwende
may I turn nowhere else
als zu dir, der mich versühnt,
but to You , who have redeemed me,
O du lieber Herre!
O my dear Lord,
Gib mir nur, was du verdient,
give me only what You have won,
mehr ich nicht begehre!
for more I could not wish !

~

I repeat.

Dein höchstes Gut in Jesu Schmerzen,
That your highest good depends on Jesus’ sorrow,
Wie dir auf Dornen, so ihn stechen,
how for you from the thorns that pierce Him
Die Himmelsschlüsselblumen blühn!
heavenly flowers blossom!
Du kannst viel süße Frucht von seiner Wermut brechen
You can gather so much sweet fruit from His wormwood
Drum sieh ohn Unterlass auf ihn!
therefore look unceasingly towards Him!

~

I know, what has finally, truly quietened my anxious heart.

All these talk, such talk on “Blooming”.

How for me for the thorns that pierced Him,

only then,

could heavenly flowers blossom.

~

This is what will keep me through the wait,

before You take me Home to Glory.

Constantly. Unceasingly.

I meet my Saviour at Golgotha.

Eilt – Wohin ? – nach Golgatha!
Hurry – Where to? –to Golgotha!
Nehmet an des Glaubens Flügel,
Take the wings of faith,
Flieht – Wohin? – zum Kreuzeshügel,
Fly – Where to? – to the hill of the Cross,

Eure Wohlfahrt blüht allda!

There, your salvation flourishes!

~

40. Chorale
Flauto traverso I e Oboe I e Violino I col Soprano, Flauto traverso II e Oboe II e Violino II coll’Alto, Viola col Tenore, Continuo
Ach Herr, lass dein lieb Engelein
Ah Lord, let Your dear angels
Am letzten End die Seele mein
at my final hour carry my soul
In Abrahams Schoß tragen,
to Abraham’s bosom,
Den Leib in seim Schlafkämmerlein
while my body in its narrow chamber
Gar sanft ohn eigne Qual und Pein
gently without pain or torment
Ruhn bis am jüngsten Tage!
rests until the last day.
Alsdenn vom Tod erwecke mich,
Wake me then from death,
Dass meine Augen sehen dich
so that my eyes see You
In aller Freud, o Gottes Sohn,
in all joy, O God’s son,
Mein Heiland und Genadenthron!
my Saviour and throne of mercy
Herr Jesu Christ, erhöre mich,
Lord Jesus Christ, hear me,


Ich will dich preisen ewiglich!
I shall praise You eternally!

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