One spring morning, two thousand years ago, an orange sun peeked over my neighbor’s buildings as Dionysius, Captain of the Roman guard, entered my shop. He stood before me, breathing heavily from his long hike. His body odor and breath stunk.
“I need three strong, extra-long spikes,” he snarled. “A man who calls himself the Son of God will hang from your nails this Friday on Golgotha Hill. We don’t want him to fall off––do we?” he said with a grin that exposed missing teeth and hateful bloodshot eyes. His bald head glistened with sweat.
I am what you call today, a blacksmith. With Jehovah as my guide, I use my gift of metalworking daily. Nails are a specialty of mine. When you handle one of my spikes, you sense quality. As I labored, my fire would not go out or the nails would crumble.
When the captain came Friday morning and I could not deliver, he placed his helmet on my wooden table and beat me bloody.
“I’m sorry,” I said through swollen lips. “I can’t make the nails that will pierce Jesus.”
“I’ll get someone else.” Dionysius glowered. He turned and stepped out the door of my shop, smacking his head on the lentil.
Thank you, Father, for the gift of work and also for the failure to produce the nails that would hold Jesus to a cross.
I’ll never forget that Friday. The sky turned black from the sixth to the ninth hour. My tools shook on the walls as thunder and lightning struck.
But Sunday exploded with a rush of sunlight. Mary Magdalene burst through the shop entrance. Peter and John dashed by. Mary raved, “Come, see the tomb where they laid the Son of God! It’s empty! It’s true we serve a risen Lord. I saw Him!”
The day He passed by my shop, I asked Him to touch my wounded head and face. Look, no more cuts or bruises.
Christ took on our sin. All of it … that we might be saved. Fall before Him and accept His gift.
(Photo courtes of morguefile and jclomek.)
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