“Were you there when they crucified my lord”? A hymn asks the question. The crucifixion of Jesus happened nearly 2000 years ago. Of course we were not there. Or were we?

Peter preached a number of sermons in the first few chapters of Acts, to more than 2000 people in chapter 2 on a street in Jerusalem. Some of the people were from Jerusalem and some were from neighboring countries. In chapter 3 his audience lived in Jerusalem. In both sermons, he addressed the people with “you killed the prince of life” in chapter 3 verse 13 Peter said “ God raised Jesus whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate when he had decided to release Jesus”.

Actually, only a few people were there good Friday demanding the crucifixion of Jesus. Maybe one or two of them were in the audience in the temple of few days after Pentecost when peter accused them of denying Jesus. He urged them to repent and receive the forgiveness of their sins, on the day of Pentecost 2000 people were baptized; they confessed their sins and received forgiveness.

Were we there when they crucified our lord? Physically, no. But our sins were there. Jesus took away the sins of the world. If our sins were not there they are not forgiven. And yet the gospel is so plain that every sin of every person has been forgiven. If we at all cherish the thought of our sins being forgiven, then in honest repentance we denied the lord and demanded his crucifixion. The more we accept that truth, the greater is our joy that Christ has risen from the dead.

In perfect love he died, for me he died for me, O all atoning sacrifice. I cling by faith to thee.

Elmer Schiefer
Pastor, Family of Christ Lutheran Church