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Were you there?

Shai Linne has a song called Were You There? which deals with events leading up to Jesus’ death.

Speaking of the crowd who is seeking Jesus’ blood, he says:

The way they treat the Lord of glory is debased and it’s foul
But you miss the point if you don’t see your face in the crowd

This leads into the most thought provoking part of the song, where he shows how the behaviour of the various individuals involved in the events leading up to Jesus’ execution are really behaviours we all have a tendency, to one degree or another, to engage in.

The following lists these individuals and the type of behaviour they typified:

  • The disciples on the night of his arrest: We are inattentive and don’t pray when we need to.
  • Judas: We betray Jesus in our quest for money and possessions.
  • The chief priests: We want Jesus to surrender to us. We don’t want him in our life when he’ll get in the way of our plans.
  • Peter: We have a false bravado about how we’ll stand up for Jesus, but really we deny Jesus when faced with real, or often even perceived, negative consequences.
  • Harod: Jesus intrigues us, but ultimately we bore if he doesn’t entertain us.
  • Pilate: We see Jesus and find no problem with him, but go along with the crowd when they choose wickedness instead.

He ends the last verse with:

The way we treat the Lord of glory is debased and it’s foul
Ashamed, I bow because I see my face in the crowd

This idea of identifying ourselves with those who crucified Jesus is humbling and even disheartening, and yet it is an important concept. Like the John Stott quote near the end of the song says:

Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us (leading us to faith and worship), we have to see it was something done by us (leading us to repentance).

Understanding the gravity of our sin and the real consequence of our actions brings us to the place where we can truly come to Jesus for forgiveness and experience the richness of the grace he offers.