The Ballad of the Cross

Written by Elton Smith and Larry Holder
Links to contributors: Larry Holder, Steve Israel, Rhesa Siregar

This is turning out to be one of the most popular songs on this site. I wrote the music and told Larry the theme I had in mind. He pounded out the words in one day (maybe he was inspired also). It's kind of long, but I wouldn't remove a single word. This song is part of our Easter musical, Resurrection Song. - Elton, December 6, 1997
I made a new midi for this song in 2002. Listen to the piano part. This was used to make the piano score. - Elton, January 26, 2002.

Languages for this song:
French, German, Portuguese, Spanish


(6 Measure Introduction)

(Verse 1)
By the prophets, God foretold
of the sending of His Son
Who would give His life
to set the captive free.
Stepping down from His throne
and the glory He had known,
Jesus came to give His life for you and me.
Though He knew well the cost,
He was prepared to suffer loss
and give Himself as ransom for us all.
Into our hopeless world He came,
Endured the suffering and the shame,
Every moment staying faithful to the call.

(Verse 2)
Yet the One who spoke of love
was rejected and despised;
He knew all too well the sinful heart of men.
Those with eyes refused to see;
Those with ears refused to hear,
as they sought a way to bring Him to an end.
By a friend He was betrayed,
By soldiers, led away,
Yet for this very hour He had come.
They did not take - He freely gave;
For those He came to save,
the road to the cross He walked alone.

(Chorus 1)
He could have called a million angels to His side,
Or stepped down from the cross and walked away.
Yet His love held Him there,
Through the pain and despair,
To free us from the debt we could not pay.

(Verse 3)
In His suffering and pain
Took the guilt and the shame
As He hung between the heavens and the ground.
Every nail, every thorn,
Every stare, every scorn
pierced the One who so freely laid it down.
With His face to the sky,
"It is finished!" was His cry
The words that broke the gates of hell.
When His final words were said,
Breathed His last, bowed His head,
Darkness o'er the land so quickly fell.

(Chorus 2)
Yet death and darkness could not stand against His power:
He rose, victorious o'er the grave.
In His light we now may live,
By the grace He came to give
All who call upon His name are surely saved!
All who call upon His name are surely saved!

Copyright © 1997 by Elton Smith and Larry Holder

Comments -  Leave a comment

Sandy Fink2021-04-04I found this song in early 2000 s - downloaded it and have sang it most Easters since. It us beautiful and I do not understand why it never moved into the mainstream. I love it.
Diana Boney2020-06-14Found this song years ago and every time I play it, sing it, it touches my heart like no other.
Thank you...
2018-02-01Truely a truth we need to sing out.
Sandy Fink2017-04-16I downloaded this many years ago and still love it. We sing it as s duet on Easter. Love it.
Renae Forbes2017-02-25I love this song very much
Bill Grisham2016-04-13Your music is special to me. Thank you for putting feet to the blessings God has placed upon your hearts. Thank you, thank you!
Vera Six (old friend of your music)2016-03-31I love it!
Renae forbes2016-02-27Yes I will call upon your name and be saved
Fayette2015-04-02 Glory B 2 JESUS on This Special Day I've Sent This Comment In For Good Friday3April2015♪†
Love The Song/Hymn & The Words♪
♪Thank You All & GoD's Blessings B Upon Us All & Peace B WithIn Our S
Elaine Williams2015-02-24I've been looking for the music for 'Until I Come' as I have the words already. I'm so thankful that I found your site, it is truly inspirational. I run a Lent Club after school and I have used this before many years ago, thank goodness I found it again. Went onto the website, really delighted. Thank you so much.
renae forbes2015-01-09You are everything to me lord because I will call upon your name .
lobo2014-07-15excellent will use it for the worship
Rebecca Schumacher2013-03-25That is a beautiful song, and it so perfectly describes Jesus' perfect gift. I loved it! Everyone should hear that song.
Jo Ann2013-03-02This is beautiful. I play piano for my church but don't feel accomplished enough to play this so I will just listen. I love the words. Thank you for sharing all the music.
Katrina2012-04-06Thank you Elton and Larry for writing such a beautiful and holy song. I have loved this song, and "I Lay It Down" for years, well before my husband and I were married. We just got back from Good Friday Mass, and now that the kids are old enough to understand them, we played both songs for them. They are very special songs, and I thank you both for encouraging christians to use your songs freely in their churches. Glory to God!!!
cheryl2011-08-09I have loved this song since I first heard it- now years ago. I bought the CD- Resurrection Song and have been trying to get this song and another-Lover of My Soul performed at my church. Well, I finally got someone to sing it at my church and he asked me to sing back-up. So, we had a man and a woman. We were well received. Everyone said the song was very thought provoking and emotional. I think/hope that's what you were trying for! One down and one to go! God Bless you guys!
John (Mike)2011-08-075-star GREAT!!!
Dwight2011-08-04What a awesome song. It tells of the greatest thing to happen to me. I resently started a music ministry with in my church and these songs are truly an inspiration to me. God is great.
Doris Warren2011-04-19What a beautiful song. My pianist really rates it. Thank you so much for your wonderful music. I love singing from your list.
2011-04-01i am in charge of our church play for easter and wanted to use "the ballad of the cross" and saw that for non profit we could use it so tried to download it but its not working, not sure why, i'm even willing to pay for the cd if needed, but need it asap for kids to practice. please help

Thank you for your interest. To download a file (mp3, midi, pdf), right mouse click on the link. This will display a menu on the screen. Use the menu to download the file to your computer. - Elton
karan2011-03-12This song and the entire Russurection story is awesome. It is an inspiration to othera and it is great for use with children and youth groups
Alvin Fisher2011-02-21Blast of beauty. Great song written by Elton and Larry, and Steve and Rhesa do a great job performing it.
silvia2011-02-18It's a song to be inspired in your faith.
God is Wonderful !
2011-02-11wow!!!its so nice song...To God be the Glory!!!
Mary McWilliams2011-02-10I really like this song, because it makes you reflect on the death of Jesus and it is so surrend.
celine2010-12-28i truely love this reminds me of how Lord Jesus suffered for my sins and how he loves me. it also encourages me to love him back unconditionally. Oh how i love you Lord.
RJ2010-10-31It is good to hear a song so glorifying to Jesus
catherine2010-10-29i love the song really makes me think that jesus did not have 2 do anything but he did wat god called him 2 do . God has a call 4 each n every one of us we need 2 follow our calling just like jesus did i love u my jesus
charlito2010-10-08I hear this song and i love it,its remind the love of JESUS CHRIST FOR US
charlito2010-10-07I love this song,it remind me how GOD loves me.He give his only begotten son to Ransom my soul at the cross,
harriet2010-08-31i really like it
camille2010-08-22the words were so very touching, may the other will be blessed....................camz
joan2010-06-11ooooh this song made me shade tears would like to get a copy its wonderfully may the lord bless you elton as you go on serving the Lord
Robert2010-04-16Wonderful Song!!!
Bessie2010-03-31PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!
Martina Juranek2010-03-04I would like to share about this song. I had performed this song at my local church for special music, only was done in sign language. Thank you for allowing this to be done. This is a great Easter and Passover song. You all are a Blessing. Thank you so much!!
mark2010-02-20Elton & Larry, My wife and I found this to be a beautiful song. We sang it a couple of years ago for our Easter church service. I plan on teaching it to a brother in our church so we may sing it together this coming Easter. Thank you two and God Bless, Mark
madelle2009-12-29wow ! the meaning of the song is great ! im not yet listening to it but i already fell in love to the song !!!
laura2009-11-23Love this song. Is there a version of this for SAB choir?
Jeanne C. S2009-11-10A very wonderful song, The Cross had to be to set us free for one day we could have a place with God in Heaven. This morning Has I was sending the prayer requests all over the World to the prayer's partners to pray for them , I was looking for a song to add to my email, Praise God for this Heavenly song, God bless, Jeanne.
Kathy Jo Watts2009-09-26Once again I will call yours a faithful friend. Love and blessings to yours always.
Linda J. Crume2009-08-01I like his voice and the harmony.
Kathy Jo2009-05-11I still hear this song also...... to remember
what God has really done for us all
Kathy Jo2009-04-24Nine years ago.....All Glory be to God............this song had such a wonderful impact on my life....and I see.....and hear....God has blessed yours all so very much....All Glory be to God.
Ellen2009-04-08I really like this song and I'm going to use it for our Good Friday service.
Angie Hooks2009-03-30Lovely...I'm the music director at my church and hope to play this for Easter!
Cheryl Green2009-03-21What an awesome song about our Lord. Thank you for allowing the spirit of the Lord to lead both of you to these words and music. God bless you both.
razel2009-03-10i love jesus!!!
Sara2009-03-07I love it so much !!!!!!!
God bless you! Amen!
Sister Sandra2009-02-26Anointed words about our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and anointed singers.
2009-02-19Great BIG Message Song !!!
Juanita Baldwin2009-02-13this song reaches the heart. I loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Edith Svenson2009-01-06May this song, born in Heaven, be upon the lips of all how loves the Lord and his finished work upon the CROSS. Awesome Awesome Song!!!!!!!!!!!
Lina2008-12-29When I heard the music from one blog for the first time, I was deeply attracted by it. I couldn't help listening to it over and over again. In the case of knowing not the lyric, I added to the chorus with "Lord,I will follow You all my life"(of course in my mother tongue--Chinese). These words repeated in my heart again and again. Then I found the lyric here. It's touching too! Thank the Lord! Nothing in the world can compare with His love! Thanks for sharing this wonderful song!
2008-12-23Great song One of the best Christian songs. Praise The Lord.
Ray2008-10-17I don't sang that great, But I had to sang along with this song Gods Blessings
Pastor Ray. GCCC
Francis2008-10-03Thank you so much!I love this song and going to let the kids hear this beautiful song in Macau.
Odalys Angarica Small2008-09-20Dios les bendiga! es una inspiracion un mensaje....... creo en mi un reavivamiento espirtual. Dios les bendiga! Que su nombre sea glorificado atravez de ustedes.
Shony-Palakkad-Kerala-India2008-09-18Dear brothers Elton, Steve, Larry
This song is the a very concise, but explanatory story of our dear Lord's coming to this world. I don't know how many times I have listened it (not less than 200), but I cannot stop listening it. It is the language of Holy Spirit, which my spirit well admire.
Praise the Lord.
May God Bless you All abundantly.
2008-09-03It's truely a meaningful song to me.

Every single words are so meaningful..
It does reflect everyone of us carrying the same cross as Jesus carried...

Praise to God!

As the almighty send him to save us!
It's so meaningful to me as I more understand on Jesus.
Felix2008-07-20The song is very inspirational.The words basically touch on God's ONLY salvation message for Mankind.
Janis2008-05-29What a lovely song. It tells the story of Easter so very well. I plan to show it to our choir. I just know that they will like it just as much.
Dwayne , Halifax NS2008-05-23PRAISE GOD!

The words have so much meaning. I can't wait to share this with my Church. I KNOW it will touch hearts as it has alos touched mine. Really the song says it all about the Easter story.

I also love the power as I hear it sung. God's Love is so great that its not possible for us to LOVE as He did, but we can certainly try.

Thanks again for allowing God to us you in writting these touching words.
Amanda2008-05-11'The Ballad of the Cross'. What an awesome song. The words are so inspirational. The music is so moving.
The song is amazing.
God Bless and inspire more songs as powerful as this one!
2008-03-24Oh so beautiful the words and the music, all so true as I visualized the story while listening.
Pam2008-03-22Thank you for this song. I first heard the music behind Carrie McCutcheon's poem Still He Walked. It is powerful and uplifting thank you os much
samkol eang2008-03-20itis very good song and make me feel realy touching glory be to God who realy is s9o faithful1 thank you
purnima2008-03-17it's so beautiful and touching
2008-03-16It is rrreeeaaalllyyy grreeaat !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Truc Phan2008-03-15Thanks so much for sound track and lovely song, My little girl will sing this song for this Easter service. Thanks and Gos bless you
Viva2008-03-15verrry verry nicee
Debra2008-03-11This is a wonderful song. It tells the story completely. God Bless You for using your gifts to His Glory.
Debbie2008-03-08awesome song and nice music along with it, thank-you for sharing!
Mama Lin2008-03-08I absolutely love this song.. it is wonderful.. thank you so very much for sharing your talent with the world..
God Bless!!!
2008-03-07This is such a beautiful song. So peaceful and yet powerful. Full of expectation and hope. Thank you, Denice
Jayne Weston2008-03-06I thought this was th most beautiful song I have ever heard giving the story of Easter. The music was so pretty and cleverly placed a credit to you both.
Paulette2008-02-18Can't adequately describe the emotional and spiritual feeling I get from the words and the music. I thank God for giving you this talent and you for sharing it.
Gloria2008-01-20Hi Elton. Last Easter we used the Ballad of the Cross in our service....Everyone liked it so much...we are going to use it again this year. Thanks for sharing with's so powerful!
Linda2007-10-23This song touched my heart so deeply. I just love it so much. Every time I hear it it brings me closer to the Lord. I thank you Lord for all you have done for me and my family. God Bless you all
Rosah2007-10-17This is a powerful song that speaks the word with picture
Nelda Taylor2007-10-03Very touching, I love this song.
2007-09-22i love it so much from renae.
(Mrs) Mitzi Smith2007-09-21beautiful song, Larry and Steve,
would like a copy for our community radio Gospel Program in Perth West Aust please if possible. Please contact me
Mitzi (Radio Producer)
Curtinfm 100.1
Lui Siu Chun2007-09-21magnificent!!!
Marian Vest2007-07-30I love it..
sanjeev2007-07-27Praise the Lord for this beautiful song...when God give a song its a prayer. God has revealed his heart to you. GREAT GREAT SONG
PHYLLIS2007-07-07SOOOO LOVELY___Thank you so much_
Mike Davis2007-06-01OUTSTANDING!!
Lee-Ann2007-05-31Wow What a revelation of what Christ is about. A moving living song for even the hardest heart. Jesus reigns victorious above all. To God be the glory......
Cindy2007-04-20I absolutely love this song, the power I feel when I sing it gives me such joy.
Paul Jones (PJ)2007-04-12Thank you. On April 15 my friend and I will have sung this wonderful song 3 times at different functions--the 15th being church service. At first we planned to do it with full ensemble--my daughter, son-in-law, and their 2 children on electric jazz guitar, bass guitar, drums, and triangle. Unfortunately, it didn't work out. We did it instead with piano.
2007-04-08This piece is so beautiful played on the piano. You can envision Jesus carrying the cross and the burden that He carried. This score has captured that is is so beautiful.
Linda Rieser2007-04-08I was so very blessed by this Easter ballad. It is a song that brings much glory and praise to the Lord. I believe that the men that wrote it most definitely led by the Holy Spirit and it is very anointed. Thank you for this special Easter gift and I will be certain to share it with others. May God bless you and keep you in the palm of His nail-scarred hands.
Nancy Boggs2007-04-07What an absolutely beautiful song. This is a glorious way to sing about the eternal gift of life our Heavenly Father has bestowed upon us by his grace. I am recommending this to our church as a new communion hymn. Thank You.
Gwendolyn Blyden2007-03-29It is beautiful and has a very good message. It is a blessing to me.
Tana Sullins2007-03-26This is a beautiful song. The words gave me goosebumps. It makes you really think about what an awesome price Jesus paid for us. Thanks!
Leona Alvarado2007-03-09This is a very beautiful ballad. I am recommending it to our Music Dept at church. I really like it and it is easy to sing along with, which is awesome. Praise God for the influences he sends to his sheep!
ditas2007-02-28Emotionally and spiritually touching. Very inspirational!!! I pray for more blessings for the composers. Thank you for providing both demo and accompaniment tracks.
Irene2007-02-24This is a wonderful song. Last Easter I downloaded the lead sheet and sang it in my church and everyone loved it.
Thank you.
2007-02-23i love it
2007-02-23Wow, so amazing you speak the words so powerfully of what our savior did for us. Thank you, it is so touching and yes, inspired.
Vidya Sagar, Hyderabad, India2007-02-21Thank you very much for writing this song. I have taught song "Lay it down" in 2005 lenten days at Church and I am willing teach this wonderful and inspirable song to our church youth to present in the Church on Easter 2007. Thank you so much and we wish you to continue to write the songs. May God bless you and happy Easter in advance.
Barbara2007-02-19The Ballad Of The Cross is one of the most beautiful songs I have heard.The melody is so uplifting and the words are an inspiration.Who could listen to it and not have their hearts touched by it? The words say it all ! I love it !!

May God bless you both as you continue to write and sing for His glory.
Pat2007-02-07The Ballad of the Cross, What a soul lifter. Inspiring! Wonderful talent! Wonderful site! Thank You for sharing.
P J Joseph2007-02-05Dear Friends in Jesus Christ,
I am in a dilema. Two days back only I happened to visit the website I am enjoying all the songs. I shall try my best to give much publicity.I am from Kerala State of India a retired teacher having four children from Mary my wife.Please pray for us. I shall pray for ypu all.The Ballad of the cross really heart touching. Thanks to God and thanks to you.God bless you.
Bonnie2007-02-04A friend of mine just gave me your web site and I played the Ballad of the Cross. I was immediately drawn to the music even before I knew the words. This song is so beautiful and I play it over and over during the day. Thank you so much for this inspirational music. I love it so much that I will play it everyday and will give your web site to all my friends.
Mrs. Darcel Fode2007-02-03What beautiful words to a simply perfect melody. Many of these songs I do not know and so I'm not able to sing along, but the words and tune fit wonderfully. It made me think of Mel Gibson's Passion movie, as we approach the Lenten season.
God Bless,
brighty2007-02-02thank you for offering this song.
when i read the lyrics,it really touched my heart.