We were called to a place near the city gate,
To the crest of Golgotha’s Hill,
Where we led three men condemned to die,
The two against their will.
I offered them wine, one turned his head,
His garment we found nearby,
Then while we gambled his raiment away,
Blackness darkened the sky.
A soldier of Rome, a legionnaire,
Battle-scarred and worn,
I spiked his feet and hands then raised
Him high on that dismal morn.
I lifted my head in the gathering gloom,
And looked at his ravaged face,
Yet etched in his eyes I saw such love
The pain could not displace.
His gaze it pierced my empty soul,
“I thirst,” I heard him say.
So I wetted a sponge with sour wine,
He drank and then turned away.
Lifting himself to catch his breath,
His eyes swept side to side.
“Tis finished,” then, I heard him say,
Then bowed his head and died.
Who can tell of this Nazarene?
A carpenter’s son, ‘tis said.
But He died on my watch at Calvary,
And for my sins He bled.
And who can escape the gaze of the One,
Who died all alone on that tree?
Where He took on the sins of a legionnaire,
And paid the price for me.