The Cross and the Nails-A Resurrection Message
The image on the screen at the Austin Street church of Christ in Garland, Texas, on April 11, 2004 was absolutely correct. The nails driven into Jesus' hands on that awful Friday in A. D. 33 were square nails. Mankind didn't discover round ones until about the turn of the twentieth century. One wonders if Jesus knew that as he saw primitive men picking up primitive nails to drive with primitive hammers to emphasize their primitive, ignorant wrath upon Him for daring to do such as thing as to tell us that we might be wrong about God and His plans and feelings about us.
If Jesus thought that as the Romans reached for the square nails, it probably wasn't the first observation He had had about the primitiveness of us people whom he came to save. Those long, iron, square nails had some other properties about them that the people of the day didn't know about. They didn't know that one day over eighteen hundred years later man would find a way to combine iron with other metals to produce steel, an alloy much stronger than the iron they then worked with. Jesus knew that and more. As he looked at the nails they were about to use, He also knew of the tiny creatures that lived on those nails and just how infectious they were. It's not that He would be around long enough for them to matter a lot, though.
The Lord that was being crucified that day was the Lord that had long ago also made the iron, the wood, and the ground that the cross would be put into. That Lord was very capable of looking into the future to the day that Anton von Leeuwenhoek would peer into his magnifying glass and see "wee beasties" swimming around in a drop of water. Shortly after that, von Leewenhoek would make the first primitive microscopes. That discovery would propel man into his first insightful study of biology at a microscopic level.
Jesus had made the "wee beasties" and knew just which ones were on those nails. He also knew that the nails were not perfectly smooth, but composed of irregularities in their surfaces that under a microscope would look like the surface of the moon. They would tear his hands and feet. Jesus' death truly was a primitive death at the hands of primitive men.
It is said that doctors and nurses make the worst patients. They know too much about what goes on in clinics and hospitals, and what they know worries them when they are the ones who are the patients. One wonders if Jesus shared the same worries, the same temptations. He knew far more about the physical dangers and trials of a crucifixion than the ones who were doing the crucifying. The scripture comes to mind "14Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4: 14-16.
Jesus faced all of the temptations at the cross that any of us might be likely to face, at a crucifixion scene or any other. How many spiritual temptations were also present at the time of the crucifixion? Where was Satan, and what was he doing? Where were all of his demons? How would mankind try to twist The Most Magnificent Sacrifice into something meaningless or profane? But still with utmost faith in the God His Father, Jesus went ahead with it anyway. And in willingly laying down his life, He won the most important victory of all battles that would ever be won.
Truly what a Savior we have! He knew more about both the good and the bad of that horrible Friday than we would ever know, yet He braved it so we might live. So we might live forever with Him.
There's an invitation song that we sometimes sing that has the line in it "What will it be, what will it be, where will you spend your eternity?" The song makes an impassioned plea for us to respond to this Savior. Yet even the language fails to communicate the enormity of the issue. We don't spend eternity. If we spend a dollar, we use it all up. But there is no way to use eternity all up. Eternity is never spent.
Dear friend, where will you be in your eternity? In the most pleasant of places with the most wonderful of people? Or in a hot, miserable place in continual unrelenting pain with people you wouldn't have spent five seconds with on earth? It's your choice. Where will you "spend" your eternity?
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