Summary: A sermon for Good Friday.
"It Is Finished" The main thrust of this sermon were borrowed from Jim Green Somerville
"Were you there when they crucified my Lord?"
Several years ago I was with a woman whose husband had just died.
"I was in the kitchen," she cried, "I heard a noise from the living room, and when I went in, there he was slumped over in his chair."
Then she told me again, "I was in the kitchen..."
In the years since I have noticed that this is kind of a common thing to say in the sense that people tend to replay the details of a death, to make sure they got the story straight, I think, but also to make sure there was nothing they should have done that they failed to do.
Every year on Good Friday we replay the details of Jesus' death for some of the same reasons: to make sure we get the story straight, but also to find ourselves in the event and think about our own possible guilt or innocence.
What part did we play?
I mean none of us would have done what Judas did, would we?
That is, unless we believed that Jesus was the political Messiah we had been waiting for and that all Jesus needed to get started on what He needed to do was a good hard push from us.
Have we ever pushed someone in a similar way because of our own impatience?
Is there a bit of Judas in any of us?
"Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble..."
And none of us would have done what Peter did, would we?
He promised to follow Jesus to the grave and then denied Him because some silly servant girl asked a question.
Who knows what we would really do under the circumstances?
Who knows how strong the survival instinct would prove to be?
"Were you there when the sun refused to shine?"
Certainly, none of us would have done what Caiaphas the High Priest did, would we?
He made the claim that "it is better for one person to die for the people than for the whole nation to perish."
Have we ever been guilty of doing something for political reasons?
"Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?"
None of us would have done what Pilate did, would we?
He went back and forth between Jesus and His accusers, hoping that there would be an easy answer.
How many times have we done something we didn't agree with just because the right thing wasn't the easy thing; it wasn't the popular thing?
"Were you there...?"
None of us would have done what the chief priests did, would we?
They shouted out, "Crucify him! Crucify him!" and followed it by saying, "We have no king but Caesar."
But then again, have you ever been part of an angry mob?
Have you ever called for a Presidents impeachment?
Have you ever wished that someone who was making your life difficult would just go away?
Have you ever done anything to make their departure more likely?
"Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble."
None of us would have done what the soldiers did, would we?
They flogged Jesus, dressed Him in purple, and put a crown of thorns on His head.
None of us would have nailed Him to a Cross, or gambled for His clothes, or pierced His side, would we?