Monday, December 06, 2004

Three Nails, Free Nails ???

A "scribbling" from a past Easter . . .

On Friday I dropped in to a hardware store to buy three nails. As I placed them on the checkout counter I said, “Easter is coming and I have a story to tell.” The clerk said, “If that’s what you need them for, take them, there’s no charge. No charge for the nails! Made me think . . . NO CHARGE FOR THE NAILS . . . for me at least! But it cost Jesus His life.


Because of man’s sin, God had to judge the world by sending a flood. But He provided a way of escape . . . Noah’s Ark. All anyone had to do was “get in the boat”. Noah was 120 years old when the ark was finally ready to sail. I can imagine him shouting as he drove each nail, “Whosoever will may come”. But only eight people availed themselves of the Ark of Safety. All those nails for 8 people.


God’s Son grew up in Nazareth. His earthly father, Joseph, was a carpenter and Jesus learned the trade from his dad. Learned how to drive a nail straight and true. Did He know, growing up, that nails would end His life? Yes!


“And you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross. But God raised Him from the dead.” (Acts 2:23,24)

Yes it was you and me who nailed Jesus to the cross. The soldier’s may have carried out the brutal act of crucifixion but it was our sins that nailed him there.

“He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:13,14)

Think of every sin that you’ve committed in your lifetime. How many times have you messed up already today? Does God keep a record? Yes he does! That record of all our future sins was figuratively nailed to that cross when Jesus died. When God looks at the list now, what does He see? The blood of Jesus, His sinless Son has blotted out every one of our sins. Can you fathom that? Can you grasp the truth of it? Every sin was dealt with at the cross when Jesus Christ shed His blood for you and me. As the mathematical equation says on the front of your handout . . .

1 CROSS plus 3 NAILS = 4 GIVEN

We are completely forgiven because of the cross and those three nails! As Max Lucado writes in his excellent book, He Chose the Nails, “The list God made (of our sins) however, cannot be read. The words cannot be deciphered. The mistakes are covered. The sins are hidden. Those at the top are hidden by His hand; those down the list are covered by His blood. Your sins are blotted out by Jesus. He knew the source of those sins was you, and since He couldn’t bear the thought of eternity without you, He chose the nails. He knew that the purpose of the nail was to place your sins where they could be hidden by His sacrifice and covered by His blood.
- So Jesus Himself swung the hammer
- The same hand that stilled the seas stills your guilt
- The same hand that cleansed the temple cleanses your heart
- The hand is the hand of God
- The nail is the nail of God
And as the hands of Jesus opened for the nail, the doors of heaven opened for you.”

3 Nails for 1 Person – YOU

What is our response to such love? What should it be? The old hymn writer stated it well,
“Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my heart, my life, my all.”

Is that your response this Easter season? Is it mine? I hope so!

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