Wednesday, 22 March 2017

He Chose the Nails

“He Chose the Nails”

                In our Lenten reflections for 2017 we will focus on
Jesus and the scene where He is being prepared to die on the cross.  Jesus is now laying down on the ground but really upon the cross where a soldier is pressing his arm. There is a mallet and a nail and the soldier’s hand pressing down and skewering Jesus’ hands to a beam.  Why did Jesus go through this? Why didn’t He just use his hands to take control of the mallet and the hand of the soldier.  Because He knew he had to die for your sake.  He did this for you.
                A couple of soldiers were assigned the task of preparing the prisoners for crucifixion. This meant actually nailing the hands and feet of each person to the wooden cross. Huge spikes were needed to go through the ankles and wrists and into the wood. The soldiers had done this before but with Jesus there was something different. They had already mocked him, whipped him, spit on him and now they were throwing dice for his clothes. And there was Jesus lying on the wooden beams and waiting. He was waiting for the nails to inflict pain and cause him to bleed. But why? Why did Jesus just laid there. He could have called thousands of angles to stop this. He could have overtaken each and every soldier after all he is the Son of God. But because God loved us, he became human and Jesus became the one who enabled reconciliation of people and God to take place.
But just think of those hands—they calmed the sea, they healed, they helped share his teachings; they held babies and children and comforted adults who wept. Jesus’ hands were filled with kindness and love. Now they were filled with blood and pain as a nail was hammered into them. And these few nails would hold Jesus up high on the cross and he would be seen by many people as he awaited death.
                Jesus’ hands were open as the nails pierced through. Jesus knew the pressure needed to pound those nails through his hand and into the wood. He was a carpenter and he had used a hammer like the soldiers’ many times. But these nails were important for this is where the sins of the world were placed upon Jesus. And Jesus knew that he had to die in order that you could live forever.

What is significant about the nails that Jesus received, other than these nails applied to the cross gave a fastening technique for Jesus’ body is that the nails were familiar to Jesus already. He knew that once the nails were put in his hands, he would no longer be able to put off death. He knew that he would die and commend the Spirit. He also knew that God the Father would enable something to happen to let others knew that Jesus is the son of God. But what about you? As the nails pierced Jesus’ hands and feet, Jesus prepared to die and it would happen soon.
Why should it matter how Jesus died, it is important that he died for our sake. Why is Jesus’ death so significant to us as Christians today? Because he loved us then, and loves us now and wants us to believe that he chose the nails for us so that we might be reconciled with God. Are we ready to choose to follow?.
                PRAYER    Loving Saviour Jesus, we praise you for you opened your hand to receive the pain and agony when you did not deserve this. We pray that your passion would enlighten us to realize the depth of your love for us. Hear our prayers as we continue this Lenten journey and try to understand why you ‘chose the nails’ for our sake. Amen.

Reflections based upon Max Lucado,  He Chose the Nails, ch.4

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