As we remember the earth-shifting event that was the death of Christ this Good Friday, I’d like to share a song with you. Nearly thirty years after I first heard it, Don Francisco’s Too Small A Price is still the most powerful song about the crucifixion I’ve ever heard.

I awoke to hear the jailer turn the key and push the door
‘Get out here!’ he shouted, but I stayed there on the floor
Frozen in the terror that rose and filled my brain
For I knew what they intended; I could not face the pain

Then soldiers came into the cell and dragged me to the yard
They threw me down before a cross and brought the whip down hard
‘Carry it!’ they shouted, as I struggled to my feet
I put my shoulder under it and dragged it to the street

I stumbled through a wall of screams as they drove me through the gate
It seemed that thousands lined the streets, their voices filled with hate
Like a wolf pack in the night that moves in for the kill
They closed the gap and followed us as we started up the hill

And it seemed I’d barely reached the top when they grabbed me from behind
They threw the cross down under me and tied the ropes that bind
The arms close to the beams as they nailed the feet and hands
And they raised the cross up in the air and dropped it in its stand

Through a blur of pain I saw the cross there next to mine
There were people all around it so I looked to read the sign
It was nailed there up above His head so the world could see the news
That the man who seemed so helpless there was the King of all the Jews

The crowd that stood around His cross made jokes about His name
They shouted, laughed and spat on Him so I joined in the game
I said, ‘Hey! If you’re the King why don’t you get us down from here?’
The taunt just sounded hollow and it echoed in my ears

‘Cause He looked at me with eyes that seemed to reach into my heart
They shone a light on all my lies and tore my life apart
There was more that lay behind that gaze than simply blood and clay
The knowing was too much for me; I had to look away

I chanced another look at Him as He was looking down
Where the soldiers who’d just crucified us drank there on the ground
And although He spoke them quietly, somehow His words came through
He said ‘Father, please forgive them; they don’t know what they do’

Then as if they’d heard Him speaking, the crowd began to roar
Whipped to frenzy by the priests who urged them on to more
But the worse the accusations now, the plainer I could see
The guilt of the accusers – not the One there next to me

Then the man upon the other cross began to curse and swear
And his voice was filled with venom as he hurled it through the air
All the horror that was in him and had laid his life to waste
Came out in every syllable he flung in Jesus’ face

Jesus only looked at him, but something rose inside of me
And in spite of all that watched us there, it couldn’t be denied
Because His righteousness and innocence were shining bright and strong
And I just couldn’t keep my silence if that cursing still went on

I cried out, ‘Don’t you fear the wrath of God even at the end?
You’ll curse us both into the pit – is that what you intend?
We’re only getting what we’re due – we’ve sinned our whole lives long
But don’t you talk to Him that way – He’s done nothing wrong!’

Then with all my courage, in a voice not quite my own
I asked Him ‘Lord, remember me when you come into Your throne’
He answered me, and even then, His love was undisguised
He said ‘Before the sun has set today, you’ll be with Me in paradise’

The shouts and curses did not stop even when the sunlight ceased
But somehow in the midst of it, my soul had been released
And though the agony continued, it was still too small a price
To be allowed to hear those words, and to die beside the Christ

Then darkness changed to dawning
I heard the sound of voices
The air was warm around me
I stood beside a stream

Abraham was speaking
To the multitude before him
Of the unfolding of the answer
To our prayers and hopes and dreams

Then far across the chasm,
Came a rumbling like the thunder
As the Prince of Peace came shining
From his mouth the power streamed

And the walls and towers crumbled
And the gates of hell went under
As thousands sang the victory
‘We have been redeemed!’

Jesus is the Lord of all!
Jesus is the Lord of all!
Jesus is the Lord of all!
We have been redeemed!