Monday, October 8, 2012

And the Hammer Fell

I was browsing through my computer files tonight when I ran across this piece that I wrote over seven years ago after a particularly moving Good Friday service. Although it is not the Easter season right now, the message is still and always a good one to remember.

One Good Friday Night ...
During one particularly moving Good Friday service at the church I attend in Indonesia.  They did something I had never seen done before.  In the early part of the service, as the congregation sang, one man carried in a simple wooden cross that was about five feet tall.  He laid it down, propped up against the platform. The service continued.  

Powerful Message Without Words
Then just before they served Communion, three men came forward and took a hammer and nails from a basket that was prepared.  They each pounded a nail into the cross.  I thought at first that they were doing a simple re-enactment of the crucifixion.  But that wasn’t what was happening.  One by one as they felt led, others from the congregation came forward and pounded their own nail into the cross.  At first, it was just a trickle of people who came, and then more and more, as the people began to grasp the significance of what was happening.

What were they saying through this part of the service?  What did it mean?  The message was so simple and clear.  Repeated hammer blows drove home the point.  Jesus went to the cross for me.  He went to the cross for you.  He died to save each individual person from sin. 

His Death Brought Us Life
Jesus’ apparent defeat there on the cross resulted in ultimate victory over our ultimate enemy.  His death brought us life.  His pain bought us healing.  His suffering can bring us restoration if we will only look to Him. 

So often, even those of us who claim to know Jesus as our Savior miss the victory that He died to provide for us.  His death, and His resurrection three days later, make it possible for broken lives to be made whole.  Because of what Jesus did, homes that are fractured with fighting, or are cold and loveless, can be transformed into places of warmth and safety where Jesus’ love shines brightly.  Because of His ultimate sacrifice, addicts can know freedom from addiction.  Those lost in a sea of guilt can be brought into the safe harbor of forgiveness. 

No matter what areas of defeat we face in our lives – no matter what areas of sin, or rebellion, apathy or despair we struggle with – the nails have already been driven into the hands and feet of our Savior.  He has already paid the penalty for us.  He has already taken on the pain of the wounds that have been inflicted on us. We only need to come to Him in faith and entrust ourselves to the care of His nail-pierced hands. 

Whenever you see the cross in your own church or any place else it may appear, take a moment to ponder its significance. Think of that area of your life that you struggle with.  We all have them.  Picture yourself taking up a hammer and nail, and nailing that struggle to the cross of Jesus.  

That actually happened over two thousand years ago on a lonely hill outside of Jerusalem when the hammer fell, driving nails into the hands and feet of the perfect Son of God.  The hammer fell, and the Savior bought our freedom with His life. 

Thank Him for doing that.  If you haven't already done so, accept the freedom that He offers to you.  Then live each day in the victory that He provides.

From Captive to Conqueror
Ebook available for free for a limited time.
October 14-16
Click picture to go to Amazon
My ebook, entitled From Captive to Conqueror will be available on on those dates for free. You can find out more about the book now by clicking the title above to go to the Amazon page.

This devotional book explores the riches of 2 Samuel 22. In this passage, we see a person who is struggling mightily in some area of life, and is losing the battle. We see that person finally call out to God for help. We see how God responds to that cry for help, rescues, restores, and equips that former captive to be a conqueror.

I would deeply appreciate it if you would help me during the coming week to spread the word among your friends and family, your church, or small group. If you own a Kindle or a PC and can purchase ebooks from Amazon, you can get this ebook for free between October 14-16. 

God used 2 Samuel 22 in a powerful way in my life. I trust He will use it in your life, as well as in the lives of others you know.

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