Were YOU There?


     “Were you there?” The song has a haunting melancholy flow to it that makes the singer or listener ponder our own sinfulness that led up to Jesus’ crucifixion. I was at a Good Friday service listening to this song and it caused me to think...

     “Were you there” when Jesus asked the disciples to pray? Have you ever been weary and lax in praying, falling asleep when you needed to be vigilant?

     “Were you there” when opposition came to arrest Jesus? We all have had times when we could have stood with Jesus and yet we fled. From a distance we warm our hands at the fire, while Jesus is beaten and mocked. Our gaze leaves the security of the fire only to lock eyes with our Lord who looks at us not so much when condemnation we deserve, but with eays saddened and grieved by our abandonment of Him.


     “Were you there” when mockers questioned whether Jesus was the Christ? No, we wouldn’t taunt Him, but we have questioned him. We’ve been angry with Him. We have put Christ on trial when we go through our trials and somehow we proclaim Him guilty of not being the Messiah we wanted Him to be. Yes, we’ve been there.

     “Were you there” in Judas’ regret? Materialism sways us from following Christ. We’ve compromised for far less than 30 pieces of silver. The hollow and empty return of our investment ends at a pauper’s grave, knowing we’ve betrayed innocent blood in our selfish greed, but it is too late.

     “Were you there” in Pilate’s indecision? Back and forth we go, should we or shouldn’t we? We know what is right, and yet we feel we can do what is wrong and merely wash our hands after the deed is done. We question, look for a loophole, then wind up listening to the crowd. Yes, we have been there.

     “Were you there” with chief priest and scribes? Religious ritualism, not atheism, is the true opposition of Christianity. Security over sacred, familiar traditions over true relationship with God robs us from fellowship with our Lord. “His blood be upon us and our children” is indeed what we need to say, yet we cry out “we have no king but Caesar.”

     “Were you there” in calling for Barabbas to be freed? One guilty goes free, while One innocent pays a price undeservedly. The great exchange does more than free one murderer. Had Christ been freed, we all would be as enchained, imprisoned and ultimately executed as Barabbas should have been. Yet we can walk free. Yes, we were there.

     “Were you there” when He could not carry the cross? Did you weep as He passed, only to hear Him say “weep for yourselves and your children”? We would not have helped carry that cross unless someone forced us to. The weight would be too heavy, the Savior’s blood on the cross would ruin our clothes. We have other things to do than carry that cross, or so we think until we are forced to walk that Via de la Rosa at the pulled sword of the Roman guard.

     “Were you there” on your own cross for your own sins? Which one were you? Taunting until the end, or pleading for a simple remembrance by the Lord when He enters the Kingdom. Pain on your hands and feet fade with His words of Hope, “Today…Paradise.”

     “Were you there” with His mother? Who is His mother? Where are His brothers and sisters? They are not still here on earth, are they? “Behold thy mother,” He whispered. “Behold thy son,” He groaned. The least of these are still among us. “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” He had asked so long ago. “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

     Was I there? Yes, we all were and sometimes it causes me to tremble.


Pray: Precious Lord Jesus. Thank you is not enough. Words are not enough. My life back to You is not enough. Only Your blood was enough to allow me to say simply this: Thank You. Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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