The rising sun shone brightly, o'er Mount Olives wooded crest,
Another day in Israel, not much different than the rest.
"There's to be a crucifixion," my commander said to me,
"Those two thieves we have in prison, and some Jew from Galilee."
We're commanded now to scourge Him, and the blood and flesh do fly,
Through lips, both crushed and bleeding, He has uttered not a cry.
Though His back is cut to ribbons, and His face is bruised and torn,
In our eyes He found no pity, as we crowned His head with thorns.
How I hate to see Barrabas, that rebellious, mur'drous scum,
Cheat justice in the nick of time, his day had finally come.
But the governor has ordered, by some fickle turn of fate,
The Nazarene to take his place,, the whole crowd seems to hate.
Though His back is torn and bloody, we have all seen blood before,
We the pride of Caesar's legions, have all seen our share of gore.
As the cross drops on His shoulder, from His lips I hear a groan,
But the crowd has shown no pity, the assemblage moves on.
On the road up to Golgotha, he fell beneath the load,
We compelled a man from Cyrene, who was standing by the road,
To bear His cross up Cal'vry, to lay it on the ground,
We spreadeagled Jesus on it, as the scoffers gathered round.
With a mallet and some rusty nails, we pierced His feet and hands,
And then we raised the crosses at our officer's commands
Into holes prepared beforehand, we dropped them with a thud.
As the two thieves cried and cursed us, we were splattered by the blood.
We parted there His garments; with their many blood stained spots,
I also claimed His vesture, for I won it casting lots.
The thieves they railed upon Him, with the jeering, mocking crowd,
I think the priests were worst of all, their scornful taunts rang loud.
"So you will build the temple? In the short span of three days?
Why, six and forty years went by the last time it was raised!
You, who fed the multitudes, caused blinded eyes to see,
Come down, and prove yourself to us, if God, your Father be!"
The thieves railed on Him likewise; "Come down from the tree!
If God's indeed your Father, save yourself and us with thee!"
One thief grew strangely silent, then in a different tone
Cried, "Lord, wilt thou remember me when Thou art on Thy throne?"
The Jew upon the middle cross, gazed tenderly his way,
Then whispered through His thirst-parched lips, "I say to thee, Today...
Today, my friend, you'll be with me," and then He bowed His head,
"Forgive them for their ignorance...", I think is what He said.
Right on the stroke of midday, our hearts near failed with fright,
The noon sun ceased it's shining, the day grew black as night;
The silence on the hillside was broke by shrieks of fear
As if the end of time had come, and Judgement Day was here.
For a space of three long hours, we couldn't see a thing,
As "The Light, which lighteth every man", was suffering death's sting.
Then at the evening sacrifice, they heard a dreadful wail,
A priest ran from the temple, crying out, "The veil, the veil!"
That veil within the temple, once a year was entered in,
Then only by the High Priest to intercede for men;
From top to bottom it was ripped, "as by an unseen hand",
As though ‘twere saying, "Enter", to each and every man.
Rocks were rent as by an earthquake, tombs were opened to the sun,
Which once again was shining, for the darkness now was done.
When we gazed upon the crosses, the Nazarene was dead,
We looked on with amazement, for just now, He loudly said:
"It is finished!" Then said something else, as I spoke to the men,
It was something 'bout His Spirit, and "..into your Hands commend."
Our commander's face grew somber, what he said next, sounded odd,
Staring at the Jew, he spoke, "He was the Son of God."
Stranger things were yet to follow, tales of dead which came to life,
And the garden tomb found empty, there were rumors running rife!
But of all the things which happened, the one I found most strange,
Was our leader's transformation, and the way his life was changed!