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3 Nails + 1 Cross = Salvation 4 All

by Robbie Heverling
Used by Permission

John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

One of the things I remember most about going to my grandma’s house as a kid was a picture she had on the wall. It was an old picture of Jesus on the cross. There was no one else in the picture just Jesus hanging there on the cross. The sky was black like smoke and his body a pale white as he hung there in his loin cloth. You could see no blood because let’s face it nobody is going to hang a picture of a bloody Jesus in their house. He looked all alone as he hung on that cross. He looked as though everyone had deserted him. His body just hung there lifeless. The price had been paid and not one person knew enough or understood enough to know what had just happened. They still didn’t get it, they wouldn’t get it…that is not until Sunday.

I myself didn’t get it for years, I mean I knew that it was Jesus on the cross, I knew that he died on the cross, I knew that’s what we celebrated every Easter but for some reason I just didn’t get it. I didn’t understand any of it. Why did he die?

It’s funny because through the years I find that I’m not the only one who doesn’t get it, there or others. I have talked to many of people, people at work, people on the street, people who go to church and people who do not, and I ask them “Why do you think Jesus died on the cross?” and like me when I was younger a lot of them don’t know. One women told me she went to church faithfully with her parents when she lived at home and when I asked her that question she looked at me and said “honestly I don’t know, why did he die?”

I have to admit I was thrown by her answer. I mean sure I didn’t know but then again I never went to church as a kid. How could this happen? How can a person spend most of their life going to Church and miss the whole reason why we even go to Church? I mean Jesus dieing on the cross and Jesus rising from the dead is the whole reason we go to church. There wouldn’t even be a church anywhere, if these two events recorded in history would have never happened.

It was several years ago when I learned why he died on that cross. You see he came to die for us. We were lost in our transgressions and sin and the bible says that the penalty for sin is death. We were supposed to pay for our own sins and the payment was supposed to be our very lives. We were to be separated from God for all eternity in Hell because we chose sin over the creator. But it was at this moment while we were still in sin that God really showed his love for us. He did the unthinkable, He sent his son Jesus to die in our place. He allowed Him who knew no sin to become sin for us so that we could be restored to God. Jesus became sin for us, he carried all the sins of the world to that cross, he allowed himself to be beaten, slapped, punched, and whipped so badly that his flesh hung off him like tassels. He was beaten so badly that if you looked at him you wouldn’t recognize him.

The picture of Jesus hanging on the cross at grandmas house was a nice picture of the death of Jesus yet it fails to even come close to showing the true price that was paid. Imagine yourself suffering for something you didn’t do, imagine being punished brutally, then imagine yourself being led to your own execution. Jesus didn’t imagine it, He lived it for you. Then as if the beatings and the floggings weren’t enough they made him carry his cross through the streets in front of everyone to the place where he would be executed.

The fact that he was even able to carry the cross after everything he already went through blows my mind, but he did. I wonder what kind of thoughts went through his mind as he saw the place of the Skull (or the place where he would be executed) approaching in the distance. Did he still dread it or because of the pain and suffering that he was going through did he look forward to it? Did he see the end in sight or did he fear the nails. Just a little more suffering, a little more pain and it would be over, surly he wanted it to be over. When he got to the skull they threw the cross on the ground and laid Jesus bloodied body on it. I’m sure that because of the beating he took and the shock he was in there was no fighting what was next. They placed the nail at his wrist and with a loud ring you could hear the hammer strike a piercing blow. His body cringing from the pain. Again they did the other wrist and then the feet. How could they not know what they were doing?

They had the son of God right in front of them and they missed him. He walked with them, talked with them, healed them,and forgave them. He did everything he could to prove to them who he was while he lived and what did they do in return, they spit on him as he hung on the cross, they insulted him and gambled for his clothes. As Jesus hung on the cross the pain had to be unbearable. The nails pushing against the nerves in the wrists had to feel like hot metal. Slowly he would pull himself up just long enough to get some air causing searing pain in the wrists because of the nails. Then he would allow his body to fall back down to rest his shoulders from holding all the weight of his body all the pressure now being placed on the feet. For hours he repeated these motions slowly up for air, slowly down for rest until he became so tired he could no longer pull himself up again. He hung there suffering and suffocating for you and me, paying the ultimate price for our salvation. One life for the lives of many but none of this means anything if your not willing to come to the cross and see the price that has been paid. He paid it all, he did all the work, all you have to do is believe.

Romans 4:7-8 “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.”

Romans 10:8-13 ‘But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,”that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”‘

If you would like to receive the free gift of salvation that God has to offer pray this prayer

Dear Lord,
I know that I’m a sinner, and my sin separates me from you. Because you love me, you sent your Son Jesus to pay the penalty for my sin by dieing on the cross. Please forgive me of my sin. I except your free gift of salvation, please come into my life and help me to live for you. Amen


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