My name is Petronius, the Centurion,
Although for years I’ve watched men die horrible deaths,
I’ve never been able to forget that Friday at Golgotha,
It was the job assigned to us that day – three men to be crucified.
Nails were driven into them and soon silhouetted against the sky
One of them was different –
They said He called Himself the Son of God.
As we watched and waited we could hear His words.
Could a mere man promise, “Today you shall be with me in Paradise?”
And the special words, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Soldiers can usually cope with fear, but happenings that day terrified us.
The sun went dark at noon. The earth was quaking under our feet.
When I heard Him shout, “It is Finished” as He gave up the ghost,
Now every day these words are my comfort . . . . . . .