Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

By C.B. Ross - Posted at The CrazyRev Page:

C. Brian Ross
The title to this post is, as many will recognise, the first line of an old Negro spiritual - songs that were sung by African slaves in the cotton plantations of the southern states of the "New World" of North America. The answer, of course, is that all of us were represented as the Lamb, slain from before the foundation of the world, hung on that old rugged Cross.

But who was there, physically, on that day almost 2,000 years ago? Well, there were the men who engineered His death - the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The Pharisees were teachers of the Mosaic Law. They ran the schools and synagogues and, in a sense, considered themselves to be the national conscience of the Jewish people. They were men of high moral character. Jesus, Himself, said "... unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matt 5:20). They certainly had very strict attitude to life and their religious beliefs. They accepted the Scriptures (our Old Testament) as the Word of God. Why should such men have wanted to destroy Jesus? Simply because he was a threat to their status and authority! They regarded it as their sole prerogative to keep the nation together spiritually, so when Jesus said: "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, but by me." (John 14:6), they were angered to the point of scheming His death. They are an illustration of how men who are moral and upright can go wrong!

Then there were the Sadducees. They were a group of aristocratic priests who were not only the spiritual leaders of the people, but also statesmen. At the time when the Lord Jesus lived out His incarnate life, they were more concerned about politics than spirituality, and went out of their way to maintain good relationships with the occupying Roman forces. Concerned for their own position, they were concerned that Jesus might start an insurrection that would bring the might of Imperial Rome down upon them, and upon the nation. The well-known words of their leader - the High Priest, Caiaphas: "... that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish." (John 11:50), reveal the deep intent of their hearts. They saw the Lord as a hindrance to their self-interest and self-concerns. So, because it seemed to them to be expedient, they had Him nailed to a Cross.