Were you there?
Did you see him
Our sins were there. Every one of them.
They caused it. We caused it. Every time we put ourselves first, and God second,
we caused it. Every time we lusted. Every time we wanted to hurt someone, or to get
even. Every sin. Think of them. We have taken that which was not
ours. We have grieved and dishonored our parents. We have hated and been angry without
cause. We have dreamed of taking things and time for ourselves and pleasuring ourself and ourself alone.
We have said that religion is a personal thing, and treated God like some desperate
little child, so eager for our attention that He will endure our little games, our sports, our parties, and our vacations
all taking His place — His time, His devotion, the love and attention we owe Him — in our life. We
have judged our neighbor and gossiped. We have griped and complained about our neighbor, our pastor, our
church. We have coveted the things others have. And we have dealt with God as though
He were not real.
But He died for us on the cross. He died
because we couldn't keep the Ten Commandments, and worse, we couldn't even want to without His help. Our
sins were there. Were you there, when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they whipped Him with the cat-o-nine tails? They tied little bits of
metal and sharp stones in those lashes so that they would bruise and tear the flesh when they whipped Him. They
gave Him 39 lashes. They believed that 40 lashes would kill a man, although many died before 39.
But they didn't want to kill Him with a whip. They wanted to make Him suffer greater pains than
Then they pressed a crown of thorns into His scalp.
Some of the thorns broke against the bones in His skull. And they covered His face with a rag and
punched Him. They stuck Him on the head with a stick. Were you there?
They didn't let Him sleep for over 24 hours. Then they made Him carry His
cross. They laid that thing on Him. It must have been as heavy as a railroad tie.
They laid it on the tortured flesh of His back. It was no wonder He needed help. How
could He carry it after all that He had been through? So they made Simon of Cyrene help Him, carrying the
cross behind Jesus. Were you there?
you there when they drove the nails into His hands? They put the disk in His hand, and drove the nail through
the hole in the center. The nail cut through the nerve in His hands so that they clenched in an involuntary
"charlie-horse". He couldn't let go, and His muscles screamed with pain. But
He did not cry out like the others.
Not even when they crossed His
feet and drove the nail through the instep. They bent His knees so that He could push up on that nail when
He needed air. He was bleeding - bleeding from His back, bleeding from his hands, bleeding from His scalp
and the cuts on His face where they had hit Him, and bleeding from His feet. Then they raised the cross
up and dropped it into the hole prepared for it. It landed with a sickening thud, and jarred those nail-holes.
Were you there?
They mocked Him. The taunted and jeered Him as He writhed up there in agony!
They called Him names. Good, godly people, they called themselves. They made
fun of Him and of His teachings. They watched with satisfaction as the muscles cramped and infection set
it, and His fever rose. When He was thirsty, they would offer Him warm, sour wine, already turned into
And slowly, you could watch it happen, the weight on those
arms pulled them out of their sockets. And weight on the chest muscles pulled the chest wider and wider
until He could no longer exhale. Until the terror and pressure of suffocation forced Him to stand on that
nail through His tender feet. You could see the pain in His face! Were you there?
Were you there to hear Him forgive those who had murdered Him? He said they
didn't know what they were doing. They seemed to know. They seemed quite skilled.
But they didn't understand who it was they were killing, or what that death would accomplish.
Even those who hung on either side mocked Him. No, one man scolded the other
and prayed to Jesus. And Jesus promised him a place in paradise.
Were you there? Did you hear the awful, hellish torment in His voice when He cried out,
"MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?" Can you imagine the agonies He suffered?
On our worst day, when pain wracks our bodies and we are gloomy and depressed, even then God is
with us, blessing us. We live and move and have out being in Him. We have never been
away from His love and His blessing. But Jesus hung there utterly abandoned by God, enduring the wrath
of God. suffering the pains of Hell. He who is God in Himself, was forsaken by God!
Were you there̓?
Did you see Him give His own mother
away? How that must have hurt! Only a few of those who had vowed to die rather than
desert Him could bring themselves to be there, then. He called for a drink. He said
"It is finished." And with a loud cry He gave His soul up to His heavenly Father.
Crucifixion often took days. Jesus died in just a few a hours. But,
oh . . . , the agony! They made sure He was dead,
amazed that He had died so soon, They stabbed Him with a spear. The red blood cells had already separated
from the plasma. You could see that as it leaked out of His body. Those who saw it said
water and blood came pouring out. Were you there?
course, you were there! He was dying in your place! He had done nothing to deserve this.
You did! Your ego. Every time you decided to place yourself first and goodness
or morality second, you were there. Your jealousies and your insisting on having it your way — yes,
you were there. Rudeness on the road, speeding, even those times you just forgot to pray. They
hung him there. If you weren't there, you were well represented.
Jesus died for your sins. He died not only for the big ones that make you ashamed, He also
died for those little ones, the ones you said, "Who knows? Who is this going to hurt?"
Your answer hung on the cross. He knows. It hurt Him.
He died for you. And your sins have been forgiven. But it seems that we have
trouble remembering what a deadly and awful thing Sin is, So now and again we need to look at the price God required Jesus
to pay — for you.
Were you there? I was,
with all of my sins. He died for all of us.
says: Surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, but we esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace
was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed.
Were you there?
Behold how great the love of God is for you.