Were You There?

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With Easter coming up, I can’t help but think about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ the lamb of God.  Have you ever heard the song “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?”  

Here is a little history on this song. 

An African-American spiritual that probably predates the Civil War, “Were You There” was first published in William Barton’s Old Plantation Hymns (1899). The spiritual’s earlier roots include a white spiritual known in Tennessee as “Have you heard how they crucified my Lord?” Additional stanzas are available from oral and written tradition:

Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?”

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh, 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 a tomb?
Were you there when they laid him in a tomb?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid him in a tomb?

Were you there when He rose up from the dead?
Were you there when He rose up from the dead?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when He rose up from the dead?

As I prepare my heart for Easter Sunday I can’t help but feel a humble and undeserving. I was talking to my friend Jennifer Harris about the movie, “Passion of the Christ.” It is the one staring Mel Gibson. When I went to see the movie, I was prepared, or I thought I was. I heard about the 11 minutes where Christ was beaten with a cat of nine tales. I was prepared for a number of scenes. However, there is one that I wasn’t prepared for. I tried watching the movie again and I had a meltdown all over again.

Mary at crossThat scene was after Christ was taken down from the cross. He was being cradled in the arms of His earthly mom Mary. As she cradles Him, she holds his limp body and stares towards the audience. She didn’t say a word, but it was as if her eyes pierced my soul.

I don’t know if others felt the way I did. But, without words she stared off and said that it is because of me that her Son had to die. He didn’t do anything to deserve death. He never sinned and yet He was killed as if he committed the worst unpardonable sins. It was if I was the one holding the hammer in my hands and driving the nails into His hands.

There is another song about the Crucifixion of Christ. The song is called “The Hammer”. The first time I heard it and watched the video, it immediately brought tears to my eyes. I felt as if I was there with the hammer in my hand. Every time I struck the nail it was as if my sins was the hammer and I kept hitting the nails over and over as tears stream down my face.

Listen to Ray Boltz singing “The Alter/The Hammer/Feel the Nails

Ray Boltz singing “The Alter/The Hammer/Feel the Nails

I was in the crowd
The day that Jesus died
And as He hung upon the cross
His mother cried

I saw the crown of thorns He wore
The stripes upon His back
The water and the blood ran out
And then the sky turned black

My mind was filled with anger
My heart was filled with shame
This man brought only healing
Who could bring Him pain

Why does it seem the strong
Always victimize the weak?
And suddenly I found myself
Standing to my feet

 

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1 Peter 1: 18-21 –  For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake.  Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.

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He is the Lamb of God. So at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, John the Baptizer’s words invite us to “Look!” and see the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” All that is required of us is to open our hearts, listen and keep watching, then we will see the Lamb.

 

 

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