Daily Archives: April 2, 2012

Week 56 – Part I: Were You There

One ancient hymn has haunted me since I was a child. I remember standing in the pew next to my parents at Good Friday services and listening to the words as they sang to that eerie tune:

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?

Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?

Yes, it has haunted me – in a good way. I often find myself humming the tune of this song (found here – Selah’s version) at random and I’ve discovered that I now I have deep, deep love for that song.

And yes, I can heartily sing “Were You There?” and I “tremble, tremble, tremble,” when I think of the events in the last week of Jesus’ life on earth. But I quickly rejoice as I experience the power of his resurrection. God raised him from the dead and I eagerly quote the words that Jesus said to Martha, who was in grief about her brother Lazarus: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he die, he shall live” (John 11:25).

God’s Word helps me to remember that I was there. And I am still there as I walk through this life with the living Jesus in my heart! I proclaim that his promises are true, his love is authentic, his power is available and his peace is overwhelming. Were you there?

King of the Jews

The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS. Mark 15:26

There was no other crime charged. He had done nothing amiss. Pilate had satisfied himself of that. He had examined Him, and could find no fault in Him, hence he would not write any charge on His cross but this, that He was the King of the Jews. The rulers objected to this, and wanted him to write that “he said” He was “King of the Jews;” but Pilate would not change a word, and there it stood above His head during all the agony and all the darkness “the King of the Jews.”

Think of how amazing that was. Even in His death, the truth of Jesus’ Godhead rang out before all of the peopled gathered at the cross. The Jewish leaders indignantly demanded that Pilate change the words, but Pilate replied, “What I have written I have written.”

The unbelief of the Jewish leaders did not change a thing; Jesus was and is the King!

So He was. The tablet told the truth, though erected to mock the people. He was the Messiah who had been promised all through the centuries. He was the King of whom David was but the type. He was the Christ who had been foretold by prophets, and waited for age after age by the nation. At last He came. Angels sang at His birth. His life had been one of great blessing and power. He had wrought miracles of mercy all over the land. He had taught, speaking as never man spoke. He had fulfilled all the Messianic conditions. Yet His enemies had rejected Him; and at last they led Him out to Calvary and nailed Him on the cross. Still He was their King:”their King rejected, their King crucified. His throne was His cross; His crown was the circlet of thorns that the soldiers had twisted and wound around His head.

It does not seem to us a kingly hour in our Lord’s life when He hangs on His cross dying, yet really it was the time of His highest earthly exaltation. He spoke of going to His cross as going to be glorified. He was indeed King of the Jews. They crucified their King. He is our King too.

How many people truly believe that in our day? Does their unbelief change the truth in any way? It is easy to follow the crowd in a day when it is not always popular to be a Christian. However, man, in no way, can change the truth. God is God, and man is not!

I encourage you, today, to humbly bow before Jesus, the only true Lord and King. He left His heavenly throne to live a meager existence on earth and to die a death of ignominy. Why would He do such a thing? It certainly is a love we cannot comprehend.

By the grace of God, let us shake of the shackles of the world and lift up our voices in praise to God who sent His only Son, Jesus, the King of the Jews, to Redeem a people for Himself.