She gave us a nail

by You Have My Word

Jesus, nails, cross, death, salvation

To marvel at the cross from the safety of a pew is one thing. But to marvel at the wonder of Salvation by horrific crucifixion is quite different when you’re actually holding a nail in your hand.

She gave us a nail.

What was meant to be a simple illustration in an early morning devotion, took me back to more than 2,000 years ago where nine-inch nails ripped savagely – without mercy – through the flesh of a perfect Saviour: Jesus. How quickly we forget.

It’s a beautiful thought: Jesus came to Earth, taught some cool parables, healed a couple guys, died on the cross for sin, rose again and went to Heaven. Oh, and he left us the Holy Spirit, our guide.

She gave us a nail.

When actually here is the reality: Jesus Christ, the one and only, anointed Son of the eternal, living God graciously came to Earth. He grew up humbly as a carpenter’s son. At around 30 years old, already knowing the horror he would face in three year’s time, he performed his first miracle: water into wine. (Some would say he was “the life of the party,” where in fact: he is Life. Period.) Three years later, after scrutinising questioning, a vicious, raging crowd asked for the release of Barnabus, a murderer, instead of Holy, merciful, compassionate, righteous Jesus.

What followed over the next while was one of the most disturbingly brutal murders of history. Stripped of clothes and dignity, thrashed with cords, riddled with bone and metal, till flesh peeled off muscle and tendon. Thorns twisted and wrung into a royal wreathe and crunched-forced-hammered as a crown into his head. King of the Jews.

She gave us a nail.

He was paraded through the city with a cross more than twice his weight – splinters jarring into open back with each painful trudge. Calvary before him: step, fall, rise, flinch, wince, stop, march, falter, hurt.

Upon hilltop, laid bare (save for the scant robe wrapped loosely – holding the last remorse of pride) against coarse tree. Now, the nails. Nine inches of rusted, wrought iron driven through soft skin, to air, to solid wood. Wrist. Wrist. Feet.

Dropped aggressively, without care, from ground level – the foot of the cross hit the bottom of the snug pit fit just right for this. Snagging the nails, now Jesus – fully man – writhing in agony.

This death was not just for the forgiveness of my sin, it was for freedom and redemption and sacrifice. Jesus died so I wouldn’t have to. Jesus died for the forgiveness of every single sin, big or small, I would commit from the time I’d be born to the time I’d die. And not just for me… for the whole world.

His death redeemed me from the tight grasp of slavery. His death was a sacrifice on my behalf, reconciling sick, sinful, filthy, wicked man – me – to pure, Almighty, perfect, just God.

She gave us a nail.

Jesus, fully man and fully God, after being buried was miraculously resurrected after three days by the power of God. After teaching his disciples for a while longer, he ascended into Heaven to be seated at the right hand of Father God, Alpha and Omega. He fulfilled his promise of leaving us the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God within us.

How much have we dumbed down the atrocity and awesomeness of such a sacrifice?

The words used to sum up that early morning devotion were this: “Jesus died because He loves you.” As simple as that.

All of that for me, out of love. And if I were the only person alive, He would have done it all again. Because he loves me.

She gave us a nail. It wasn’t very big – maybe an inch long, shiny silver. But even that, to have cold metal against my warm palm, evoked a level of awe and understanding and gratefulness and revelation that I’d never experienced. Wow.

“See from his head, his hands, his feet – sorrow and love flow mingled down. Did ever such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?”

“All for love the Father gave, for only love could make a way. All for love the heavens cried, for love was crucified. All for love a Saviour prayed, Abba Father, have your way. Though they know not what they do, let the cross draw man to you.'”

She gave us a nail.