The Story of the Roman Soldier


A golden glow tinted the sky

As the birth of a new day began

The sun broke free from her womb on high

Welcomed by nature, who joyfully sang!!

 

The sun, in brightness arrayed

Turned everything she touched to gold

Her grandeur and majesty fully displayed

Like king Midas of old.

 

Amidst this grand coronation

Stood a man on top of a hill

With shoulders drooped in dejection

Pondering his task, deathly still.

 

Anguish grips his heart as he utters this cry

“Why does it have to be by my hand

That this Righteous Man must die?

Why me, I don’t understand?”

 

The Righteous One is brought before him

His body bruised and torn

His pain-filled eyes had grown dim

His exhaustion, like a garment was worn.

 

Oh, the love and the compassion

That he saw in those pain-filled eyes!

And in his heart lingered a question

“Does He really deserve to die?”

 

A hush suddenly settles over the crowd

As the Nazarene approaches the cross.

He staggers, but remains upright somehow

His body weak from blood-loss!

 

On the cross, He laid Himself down

Spreading His arms like the wings of an eagle.

His face bloody, from the thorny crown

The blood and perspiration mingled.

 

Before the soldier could do anything

He fell heart-brokenly to his knees

Before the One who claimed to be King

And in his heart, he knew he believed!

 

Blow by painful blow, the nails went through

The hands and feet of the Righteous One

Piercing bone, marrow and the cross too

Leaving nothing undone.

 

Oh the excruciating pain He bore

As the cross was lowered into the ground!

The nails, at His hands and feet tore

Yet from His mouth, came not a sound!!

 

An agonizing cry suddenly shatters the silence

“Eloi, Eloi, Lama-sabach-thani?”

The words came from the Man named Jesus

“My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?”

 

A sudden darkness came upon those assembled

Lightning flashed across the sky!

The thunder rumbled, the earth trembled

And from the crowd, arose a terrified cry!!

 

The Heavens opened, pouring forth her wrath

Hurling down rain and hail in rapid succession!

People were running back and forth

As pandemonium reigned without recession!

 

“Father, into Thy Hands I commit My Spirit.”

Jesus uttered with faltering breath.

“It is finished. The price is paid. We did it!!”

Then He hung His head in death.

 

The soldier, standing near the Righteous One

Fell on his face, with a heart-rending sob

“Oh dear Lord, what have we done?

This Man truly was the Son of God!!”

 

Heloise S Porthen  HeloiseP@mibfa.co.za

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