Too small a price

I awoke to hear the jailor turn the key and push the door
"Get out here" he shouted, but stayed there on the floor
Frozen in the terror that rose an filled my brain
For I knew what they intended
I could not face the pain.
The soldiers came into the cell they dragged me to the yard
They threw me down before a cross an brought the whip down hard
"Carry it" they shoute as I struggled to my feet
I put my shoulder under it and dragged it to the street
I stumbled through a wall of screams as they drove me through the gate
It seemed that thousend lined the street
Thei voices filled with hate
Like a wolf-pack in the night that moves in for the kill
They closed tha gap an followed us as we started up to hill.
And it seemed I barely reached the top when they grabbed me from behind
They threw the cross down under me an tied the ropes that bind
The arms close to the beams as they nailed my feet an hands
And they raised the cross up in the air and dropped it in it’s stand.
Through a blur of pain I saw the cross there next to mine
There were people all around it so I looked to read the sign
It was nailed there above his head so the world could see the news
That the man who seemed so helpless there was the King of Jews.
And the crowd who stood around his cross made jokes about his name
They shouted, laughed and spat on him so I joined the game
I said "Hey if you’re the King why don’t you get us down from here"
But the taunt just sounded hollow, it echoed in my ears
‘Cause he looked at me with eyes that seemed to reach into my heart
They showed a light on all my lies ans tore my life apart
There was more that lay behind that gaze than simple blood and clay
But knowing was too much for me, I had to look away.
I chanced another look at him while he was looking down
Where the soldiers who’d just crucified us drank there on the ground
And although he spoke them quietly somebow his words came through
He said "Father please forgive them, they don’t know what they do"
Then as if they’d heard him speaking the crowd began to roar
Whipped into a frenzy by the priests who urged them on to more
But the worse the accusations now plainer I could see
The guilt of the accusers not one there next to me.
But the man upon the other cross began to curse an swear
And his voice was filled with venom as he hurled in through the air
All the horror that was in him and had laid his life was waste
Came out in every syllable he flung in Jesus face
Jesus only looked at him but something rose inside of me
In spite of all that watched us there, it coudn’t be denide
Because his righteousness at innocence were shining bright and strong
And I just could’t keep my silence if that cursing still went on
I cried out "Don’t you fear the wrath of God even at the end
You’ll curse us both into a pit, is that what you intend?
We’re only getting what we’re due, we sinned our whole life long
But don’t you talk to him taht way, he’s done nothing wrong!"
And then with all my courage and in a voice not quite me own
I asked him "Lord, remember me when you come into your throne"
He answerd me and even then his love was undisguised
He said "Before the sun has set today you’ll be with me in paradise".
The shouts an curses did not stop even when the sunlight ceased
But somehow in the midst of it my soul had been released
An though the agony continued it was still too small a price
To be allowed to hear those words and to die beside the Christ.

Don Francisco 1978


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