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Topic: Worship (05/03/04)
TITLE: Were you there when they crucified the Lord?
By Freda Douglas
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A number of years ago my husband John bought a book, “Who’s Who in the Bible”, an illustrated biographical dictionary, and it has held a place of honor on my desk ever since. From that book I am going to glean my facts, and add some thoughts of my own.
“The life of Jesus in Christian belief marks the greatest turning point of all history. In the sixth century in Europe that belief was made official as a scholarly monk named Dionysius Exiguus attempted to establish all dates from the year of Jesus’ birth. Although his calculations were off by four to seven years, the principal purpose of his system was nevertheless clear. All time before Jesus was born became B.C. (before Christ). Every year since His coming is A.D. (anno domini – “the year of the Lord”).
The worldwide impact of Jesus’ life is remarkable in its contrast to the small scale on which His life was lived. His travels were evidently confined to festival pilgrimages to Jerusalem about 70 miles away. The full range of His travels never exceeded about 130 miles. He stayed near home and took his closest followers from humble folks.”
Not much is said about Judas’ betrayal of Jesus, but to know why he might have done this one should pay attention to his make-up. Did he do it for profit? He accepted 30 pieces of silver for such a dastardly deed. Jesus clearly knew what kind of person Judas Iscariot was, Yet He gave Judas a position of power among His 12 disciples. History records Judas as the last disciple listed when their names were given, but why did Christ give him the position of power when certainly there were more deserving? Was it because He always saw the inherent good in all men? Such topics have always been subject to speculation.
It was only as the opposition to Jesus heated up, and was brought to white-hot intensity in Judas’s betrayal and Jesus’ execution by Pontius Pilate that the full meaning of Jesus’ message was seared into the hearts of His followers. When they came to the realization that God had raised the crucified Jesus, the power of that faith broke the geographical confines within which Jesus had lived, and began to spread throughout the world.
As Easter approaches, we are faced with the same question as we have been other years. What would we have done as we joined the crowd preceding the crucifixion? Would we have cheered or jeered? Would we, too, have been afraid to acknowledge Jesus as our Lord and Savior? Would we have been among them who threw stones? We would all like to think we would have been among the loyal followers, but we are very human, and the human flesh is weak. We know He lives! We know when illness strikes that without His presence healing would not happen! But we still ask ourselves what would we have done on that Friday so many years ago?
Were you there when they crucified our Lord? Were you there when they nailed Him to the cross?
Remember, God loves you, and you, and so do I.