They were hard as rock, though not yet old.
Their empty eyes had seen too much.
They'd heard the screams of dying men--
Of men they'd killed.
At times they'd enjoyed their victims' pain,
But not so much today.
The moaning gasps meant just one thing:
The soldiers knew their craft,
The craft of execution.
Dividing up the prisoners' clothes,
They gambled for the one man's robe.
And joined the jeers
Thrown at the crucified.
But there was something odd today.
That man in the middle wasn't bitter.
They'd never seen the like.
The sun grew dark.
An order came to break the legs--
One mighty blow,
A few more minutes of screams,
And it would be over.
That man in the middle--
He screamed his last before they got to him.
An angry thrust of spear should make it sure.
The spear went in.
Blood and water all poured out.
The prisoner was dead, all right,
But was it right?
The whole earth shook just then.
Who was this man?
A king? A god?
They shuddered as they left that hill.
When the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they were terrified and said, "This man really was God's Son!"
--Matthew 27:54, HCSB