The man had helped him bring it there;
He'd been convicted in an angry court
In a trial that just wasn't fair.
A leather whip with metal tips
Had been used, and His back was torn;
Blood trickled from wounds on His head
From a crown of thorns that was worn.
His face was swollen and bleeding,
His lips were all bruised and dry;
The people jeered, the soldiers pushed,
All shouted, "Today He must die."
They shoved Him roughly against the cross,
Pounded nails through His hands and feet;
A sign was added, KING OF THE JEWS,
The words could be seen from the street.
He clenched his teeth in agony
When the cross was dropped in its hole;
The length of his aching body
Seemed to shiver as if very cold.
He gazed at the people beneath Him
And cried out to His Father above;
He asked that they might be forgiven
Because of His mercy and love.
There was a cross on either side,
On each hung a common thief;
"We should be here, but not Him,"
Said one who was filled with grief.
Remember me in Your kingdom,"
Said the same thief, now with regret;
"Today you will be in paradise,"
The Lord replied as their eyes met.
He hung there for suspended for hours
Enduring the intense pain of the cross;
He could have been freed by angels
But He knew mankind would suffer the loss.
It is finished," Jesus sighed
As He drew in His last, labored breath;
The bonds of sin were loosed from the world
At the moment of His death.
A soldier thrust a spear in His side,
As scripture proclaimed from the start.
Blood and water flowed from the wound
Showing proof of His broken heart.
Yes, Jesus bore the sins of the world
On a cross some folks call a tree;
And died to give us eternal life
Because He loves both you and me.
Thomas D. Fender
Softly and Tenderly