Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"We Were There"

While Jewish religious leaders and Roman governmental representatives may have directly put the Lord Jesus Christ to death on the cross, the truth of the matter is that the human race bears collective responsibility for the crime of the ages. The Lord Jesus died "for the sins of the whole world," and thus the question raised by the old spiritual, "Were You There? (When They Crucified My Lord)" must be answered in the affirmative by every child born of Adam's race (I John 2:2). Yes, we were there, I was there, you were there, we all were there when they - we - crucified our Lord.

More truth shines from this light of our indictment than a long eternity will allow us to fully fathom. That which always begins my consideration of this solemn matter is the incineration of every vestige of human pride in the flame of our shared culpability for Calvary. Indeed, how could we ever be proudly boast of any supposed accomplishment when in our hearts we always know the pain, sorrow, agony and forsakenness we inflicted upon the innocent Lamb of God? Our response to all achievement must therefore be thanksgiving, that is, amazed gratitude for God's leading and enabling us, based upon the grace of His loving involvement with us despite the fact that we brutally killed His Son.

I think of this often in terms of ministry. Those who preach, teach and write are often viewed by fellow believers in terms of admiration, respect and strong affirmation. Certainly there's a place for appreciation of faithful communicators in the body of Christ. However, we do well, and far more importantly, the communicator does well, to remember that his sins were responsible for the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus on the cross. Any trace of self importance or pride in the Christian pastor, preacher, teacher or writer gives strong indication that he doesn't know or has forgotten the horror of his shared responsibility for Calvary. We can pray no better prayer for such ones than the request that they will know and remember.

Most importantly, the wondrous heart of God shines forth from this difficult truth. Indeed, the same Heart we pierced with a spear to be sure we had killed its Bearer is the Heart that comforts us in our pain and sorrow. The same Hands we nailed to a cross are the Hands that embrace us in love when we trust them. And the same Feet we impaled are the Feet that walk with us and even within us as we determine to travel the path of righteousness (II Corinthians 6:16). We were there when our Lord was crucified. And He is here with us now because He was crucified. Wondrous Heart...

"God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."
(Ephesians 2:4-7)

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