Were you there?

O who am I,
that for my sake
my Lord should take
frail flesh, and die?

Samuel Crossman, 1624-1683

It’s too much

It’s just absolutely too much

Palm Sunday

The Sunday of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ


All glory, laud, and honor
to thee, Redeemer, King!
to whom the lips of children
made sweet hosannas ring.

Theodulph of Orleans, 821


Ride on! ride on in majesty!
Hark! all the tribes hosanna cry;
thy humble beast pursues his road
with palms and scattered garments strowed

Ride on! ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die;
bow thy meek head to mortal pain,
then take, O God, thy power, and reign.

Henry Hart Milman, 1791-1868



Image result for giotto entry into jerusalem
Entry into Jerusalem, Giotto, Scrovegni Chapel, Padua, Italy, 1304-1306


The triumphal entry into Jerusalem

Christ commanding the disciples to bring the donkey and the colt

Many spread their cloaks on the road

Palms fronds waving in anticipation



Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!

Cleansing the Temple

Prayers and parables


Anointed with oil in the house of Simon the Leper

Mary, sister of Lazarus, let down her hair

The Last Supper in the Upper Room

One of you will betray me

One of you will deny me three times before the cock crows

This is my Body

This is my Blood

Do this in remembrance of me

Love one another as I have loved you

Then, it all turns

So quickly

So ugly

Agony in the Garden at Gethsemane

Let this cup pass

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak

Thirty pieces of silver

The kiss of Judas

The arrest of Jesus

Living by the sword and dying by the sword

Trial before the Sanhedrin

Suffered under Pontious Pilate

Pilate asking the crowd which man shall be freed

No stutter

No hesitation

“Crucify him! Crucify him!”





Carrying His own Cross

And then they came to Golgatha

The place of the skull

Nailed to the tree

Between the two thieves

A crown of thorns

Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews

Casting lots for His robes

Hours hanging on the hard wood

Arms outstretched for the love of the world

They pierced His side

Were you there when they crucified my Lord? (Were you there?)
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
O sometimes it causes me to tremble! tremble! tremble!
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Anon. African American Spiritual. 19th C.























Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended,
that we to judge thee have in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by thine own rejected,
O most afflicted!

Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee!
‘Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee;
I crucified thee.

Johann Heermann, 1630, Herzliebster Jesu


Words from the Cross

“Look upon your Mother”

“Eli! Eli! Lama sabachthani?”

My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?

Then, Jesus cried again in a loud voice and gave up His spirit

It is finished



Consummatum est


The earth quaked

Rocks split

Tombs opened

Darkness covered the land

The veil torn asunder

The centurion exclaimed


Then the burial

The descent into hell

The waiting

The sadness

The fear


We, too, wait for the Good News

The men fled

The women returned to care for the body


They, and we, will be told by the angel, “Do not be afraid!”

“Why do you seek the living among the dead?”

“He is not here!”


That third day will come


In the meantime, it causes me to





It’s too much

It’s just absolutely too much







One thought on “Were you there?

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