There they crucified him…
From John 19:18
While in the Holy Land, our guide Yossi had surprised us with something he had in his pocket. This surprise was heart-wrenching. Yossi produced an old nail which an artisan friend had cleaned for him. Yossi told us, “This is similar to what the Romans used to nail Jesus to the cross.” Though I’d imagined those nails a thousand times, seeing this nail in Jerusalem sent chills up my spine.
I’ve never gotten over the nails. Accounts which describe crucifixion reference the use of nails or ropes or both. The intent was to lengthen the duration of the victim’s suffering as much as possible. The image of one human being driving a nail into the wrist or the foot of another is unimaginable to me. How could we have regressed to this level of cruelty? I can’t get over the nails because they were used on the one person whose entire life spoke of love, acceptance, forgiveness and mercy…
The scriptures tell us that, while those nails held Jesus to the cross, he continued to care for those he was given to love. One of the men crucified with him asked Jesus to remember him when he entered into his kingdom. Jesus responded by promising him a place in Paradise. Jesus also spoke to his mother and his friend John. He gave them to one another to be family to each other after he was gone. Finally, Jesus forgave those who drove those nails into his body. He knew that they had no idea of what they’d done.
Though I will never get over those nails, I will also never get over the realization that I’m loved. There is nothing that I or any of us can do which will stop God from loving us.
Loving God, be with us as we replace every nail in our arsenals with an act of love.
©2018 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved