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THE MURDER TREE
(My Easter Story)
© 1976 William C. Highsmith

When I think of how I've been set free,
I am reminded of Calvary.
Then I remember that Garden of Despair
And, I see Jesus as He knelt there in prayer.

Out forth from the shadows came a band of men
And arrested Him who knew no sin.
They carried Him away to a mockery of court
To revile and accuse and make of Him sport.

Delivered to Pilate at his judgment hall,
No fault was found but yet He was mauled.
The Ruler washed his hands, He could not condemn
But, still the mob cried "Crucify! -- Crucify Him!"

Standing there before the world He was so alone,
Yesterday's followers now all gone.
Soldiers cursed The King and crowned Him with thorns,
And spat upon my Lord with contempt and scorn.

The spikes were gathered and brought forward then
At the bidding of these evil men.
In the outer court, the crossed beams were assembled;
Struggling 'neath their weight, He must have trembled.

But on to "the place of the skull" He was led.
Oh! The terror of that place of dread.
The cross, now carried by Simon of Cyrene,
Was to be the device of sacrifice supreme.

Up the rugged hill - to the place at the top
The procession was drawn to a stop.
Simon dropped the burden and hurried away.
Forever, in his memory, would live this day.

As they drove the nails through His precious hands,
Down spilled The Blood to that bitter land.
His feet, likewise fastened, did not go free;
Then upright! He was lifted on the murder-tree.

There hung the Son of God between Heaven and earth;
Numerous tormentors still made mirth.
Abuses were hurled, not yet relenting,
Cursing and taunting as in the beginning.

Suddenly the sky grew foreboding and dark.
The LIGHT OF THE WORLD did this life depart.
When the Lord Of My Life drew His last breath
The wages of my sins were paid with His death.

When Joseph requested, and Pilate agreed,
Christ's body was removed from Calvary's tree.
The Greatest Man Child to open a womb
At the last was committed to a borrowed tomb.

But Almighty God would not leave His Son there
And, on the third day, Christ left the grave bare.
It was then but a mere forty days hence
He returned to His Throne and Exalted Eminence.

William C. Highsmith - 1976


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