The Witness
By: C.H.James

I remember the day I first saw Him
'Twas night they led Him away
He was kneeling alone in a garden
His friends sound asleep where they lay
Perspiration fell from His forehead
In the moonlight it glistened bright red
Came a voice within Him moaning
With the anguish of one almost dead

Suddenly one came to Him
Thought I, surely a friend this must be
Come to comfort, with kiss reassure Him
Put to end His misery
Behind I could see many torches
Angry voices filled the night air
This friend had betrayed with a kiss
The man with the sorrowful prayer

Just then there arose a commotion
A disciple of his coming near
Took out the sword he was hiding
Lunged and removed a man’s ear
The man still dazed and bleeding
Staggered back with fear and surprise
But the prisoner with great compassion
Replaced it with tears in His eyes

The light from their torches grew smaller
As bound they led Him away
Where would they take him, I wondered
To Caiaphas, I heard one say
I followed closely behind them
And watched as they entered the door
I waited outside in the courtyard
So cold I could stand it no more

I was drawn to a flickering fire
Men talked as their bodies grew warm
Some said He was the Messiah
Others were not so informed
I heard one say to another
You’re a disciple of His I am sure
Three times there came his denial
By that fire in front of the door

Just then the great door swung open
I saw Him emerge in the light
His eyes met the eyes that denied Him
Then He vanished into the night
I saw Him again hours later
Crowds gathered beside the road
He was dragging a cross behind Him
Knees buckling under the load

A crown of thorns now gripped His head
Sharp needles crimson stained
His body bruised and broken
Face plucked, swollen, pained
His back revealing bloody stripes
Scarlet ribbons of open sore
Thirty nine was the number they counted
Thirty nine the stripes that He bore

I watched as He walked and stumbled
To that place called Calvary
And knew down deep within me
He was who He claimed to be
With iron nails they fixed His hands
Secure upon the beam
Blood ran to His elbow
In a small slow moving stream

Iron nails were also used
To pierce His swollen feet
Now bleeding from His walk
Upon the rocky street
They raised His cross before us
Secured it sure in place
Between two thieves they stood Him
As an object of disgrace

I heard Him utter softly
His strength almost through
Please, Father, forgive them
For they know not what they do
It is finished was His mournful cry
Brought forth in agony
Then He hung His head and died
Upon that blood stained tree

Then a single soldier
Who would not be denied
Thrust his spear with vengeance
And wound Him in the side
From this wound poured out a sight
To fill your thoughts and dreams
Blood and water neither mixed
Flowing out in separate streams

I knew His heart had broken
Torn by loneliness and strife
My heart the Lord took with Him
As I offered Him my life
I will always tell this story
This price was paid for me
I will live with Him in glory
Like the thief that He set free



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