This is a story of long ago -- of a man who owned a little store.
He said, "I was proud to have my name up over the door."
It was some two thousand years ago, as I recall,
Located in Jerusalem, across the street from Pilate's hall.
I thought I had everything anyone would need,
And folks would come from miles around, regardless of their creed.
The only thing I had I didn't think I could ever sell,
Was in the corner on a self -- three old rusty spike nails.
And then one day a big Roman soldier came through the door.
As he walked up to me it seemed he shook the floor.
I said, "Can I help you Sir?", with a voice I guess seemed frail.
He looked at me with a sneering grin and said,
"I want to buy some big, big nails."
"Three old rusty spikes is all I have." He said to me, "That will do
For the job I have, three's enough -- now how much do I owe you?"
He put the money in my hand and I was glad to make the sale.
Then I wondered and asked him,
" Sir, what can you do with just three nails?"
He said, "Did you ever hear of a man called Jesus the Nazerene?"
"You mean the one who goes about doing good?" He said,
"Yes that's the man."
"Well, today I intend to show the world that I am boss,
For with these three old rusty spikes I am going to nail Jesus
To the cross."
I stood there almost numb -- you'll never know how I felt.
I said, " Please, Sir, don't do that!", as on my knees I knelt.
He just turned and walked away, and I got up and followed him.
I said, "Please, Sir, I'll buy them back", but he just looked at me
But in the distance I could see the howling mob through the tears
That filled my eyes.
"Away with him!" "Crucify him!" I could hear their angry cries.
Over the top of all the noise and groans of agony,
I could hear the sound of the hammer as that big Roman soldier
Nailed Jesus to a tree.