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One of the hymns in our hymnal is titled: "Where You There?" The hymn asks each one of us a series of question. It asks,

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?

Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?

Because of our sin we deserved to be there. We deserved to be nailed to the cross and forsaken by God eternally. If we would have been there we would have been left in hell forever. But Jesus was there on the cross for us; He rose from the dead and now gives us the assurance that because of Him we do not have to be there in torment. Certainly this gives us something we can be thankful for during this season of Lent.

However, as we move through this Lenten season and again relive the drama and the passion of our Savior Jesus, in a way we can say that we were there. For as we listen to the words of the Scripture we stand at the foot of the cross and see the nails which were driven into His hands. As we read the Bible we see the people take the lifeless body of Christ off of the cross and ultimately at the end of this Lenten season we will see the empty tomb.

Furthermore, in Romans 6:3-4 it says this: "Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." Through His Word and Sacrament God has given you faith in Jesus and connected you to the cross and the empty tomb. Your old sinful nature was crucified with Christ upon the cross and through faith in Jesus you too will rise out of the grave to eternal life.

Therefore, may we say with joyful gratitude and renewed understanding of God's grace, Christ was there for us. At the end of Lent let us says, "Yes, we too were there."  We were there as we heard again the familiar words of Scriptures.  We were there as we again made our journey through the passion, suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ. Through faith in Jesus we were there. Because He suffered for us we were there on the cross. Because He rose from the dead for us through faith we too will one day be there in eternal glory with Him.

This Lenten season let us all come and make the journey again which the Lord made for us. Each week see all that the Lord has done for you. Come to church and stand at the foot of the cross and see the nails which were driven into His hands. On Good Friday let us again witness how Jesus died on the cross and was laid in the tomb. And finally on Easter Sunday once again with joy and rejoicing, let us be there as we see how Jesus triumphantly rose from the dead and gave us a reason to hope.

Were You there? Jesus was there for you and this Lenten and Easter season you too can say you were there. To God be our eternal thanks for being there for us so that through faith we may be with Him for eternity.

Pastor Schoenfeld