The Strongest Nails in the World
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
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My friend Alan was working with a carpenter friend of his on a building project. Out of the blue, Alan sprang this rather unusual question on the carpenter, "Do you know what the most powerful nails in the world are?" The craftsman paused on his ladder for a moment and then he replied, "I don't know. U.S. Steel?" Alan said, "No. The strongest nails in the world are the three nails that held Jesus Christ on His cross." And then Alan just walked into the other room. A few minutes later, the carpenter called for Alan. He said, "Man, you've got to help me. Every time I drive a nail now, it's like I'm nailing Jesus to the cross." My friend responded, "Well, in a way, we did."
For some people, Jesus' death on a cross is just history. For others, it's a religious event. But to some of us, the brutal death of Jesus on that Roman cross is a deeply personal event. I hope it is for you, or soon will be.In Galatians 2:20, our word for today from the Word of God, there are two words that are literally life-changing. In fact, they're even eternity-changing. They're the difference between someone who has Christianity and someone who has Christ. Between someone who has a Christian religion and someone who has a personal relationship with Jesus. Ultimately, these two words are actually the difference between heaven and hell.
Galatians 2:20: "I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." There are the two words, "for me." One of my associates was on a plane recently with a man in his 30s who talked pretty openly about his years of spiritual searching. He said that as a young man he moved beyond his boyhood church and began experimenting with a buffet of spiritual beliefs and experiences. But nothing satisfied the restlessness in his heart. Then one day he came back to visit the church he grew up in. Here's what he said: "As soon as I walked in the door, I saw something I'd seen hundreds of times as a boy - the cross at the front of the church. But suddenly I was overwhelmed with something I had never realized before. I said out loud, "For me. What Jesus did on that cross was for me." He said his search ended that day, and the hole in his heart was finally filled.
My guess is that you know about Jesus dying on the cross. You know He died there to pay for our sins. But you somehow may have missed that life-changing moment when, in your heart, you walk up to that cross and say those words, "For me, Jesus. What You did there is for me." When my friend said that in a way we all did help nail Jesus to the cross, he was right. Because it's our rebellion against God and His ways, all our "my way" choices that left us cut off from God and under His death penalty until Jesus came and did the dying for all of our sinning. And in reality, it wasn't the nails that kept Him on the cross. After all, He's the Son of God! No, it was His deep love for you that kept Him there 'till your bill was fully paid with His life.
If you have never had your "for me" moment with Jesus, that could happen this very day right now and right where you are. Would you tell Him, "Jesus, I'm taking for myself what you died to give me. You paid for my sin so I don't have to. You died for my sin so I don't have to. Now I embrace you as my Savior; as the driver of my life. I'm taking you for me."