12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions … (Colossians 2).
In 1899 the Negro Spiritual Were You There was published in Old Plantation Hymns, by William Ebenezer Barton. In 1940 it was included in the official Episcopal Church Hymnal, making it the first of its kind to be included in any major American hymnal. The refrain overflows with emotion: “Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.”
“Buried … raised up … made alive”—and all “with Him”—with Christ. Were You There during the Passion of the Lord Jesus? If you are “in Him” … well, you were! This is the marvelous, mysterious truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: we were included with Him when He was baptized, when He was crucified, when He was buried, and when He was risen from the grave! Ephesians 2:6 even includes us when He was taken up to heaven and seated at the right hand of God the Father!
Lord, this is too marvelous for our finite minds to grasp! But help us This Day to believe it and to remain with our Lord—close to Him the entire day. Amen.