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My Trembling Joy!

I was reminded of the old negro spiritual last Sunday as the I heard the Bible read, with that extraordinary statement from St Peter, " [Jesus] was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross". The old negro spiritual goes like this :

Were you there when they crucified my Lord? (x3)
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree? (x3)
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb? (x3)
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?

Were you there when God raised him from the tomb? (x3)
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?

Why the trembling? I think the question is the answer. I was there when they crucified my Lord. I was there when they nailed him to the tree. I was there when God raised him from the tomb. As another hymn writer puts it, "ashamed I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers". And of course the trembling must give way to joy embedded in that very question. The joy is that I was not only in the crowd, I was there in his body too! When Jesus suffered I suffered. When he died I died. When he was buried, I was buried! When he arose, I arose! Now he reigns in heaven, I am reigning with him! For this reason, I have no other way to describe my feelings about Jesus other than trembling joy at who He is and what He has done!

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