Who Was The Man Who Drove The Nail?
“If I were there, I certainly would not have been a part of the mob who shouted ‘Crucify him!‘”
How many of us have thought that? I know I have.
As Good Friday approaches, it is likely that we are reflecting on the disturbing reality of Jesus being brutally slain for our salvation. Although we acknowledge the necessity of this sordid event, it is often difficult to understand what prompted that “mob” to suddenly rise up against Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine what possessed people, who just a few days earlier were hailing him as the King of The Jews, to now be calling for his death.
With that, it is also possible that we may be tempted to look with scorn, through our mind’s eye, at those who directly or indirectly took part in the cruelty inflicted upon our Lord. And…it is probable that we may even admonish them by whispering through our gritted teeth, “How could they do that to him?” Right?
Surely we would have never been a party to such an atrocity. We would have stood firm and defended him. Yes…of course we would have!
Let’s be honest here. I would venture to say that even if we would have not been a part of the actual mob, most, if not all of us would have likely remained silent or even run off and hid like Peter.
Fast forward to today and one can easily see that Christ is being crucified on a daily basis, albeit verbally. His modern crucifixion comes in many forms—the taking of his name in vain; the denials that he is the God of all creation; the assertions that he was just a good man and teacher; the accusations that he was a liar and a false prophet; the refusals to believe that he rose from the grave…or that he even existed.
How many times have we failed to defend him? How many times have we failed to speak boldly for him? How many times have we been like Peter and run off to hide in order to avoid confrontation?
For me, the times I have failed to defend my Savior are too numerous to count. And by not defending him, I am reminded that I am no better than those that once did and continue to crucify him. For that matter, I’m no better than the man who drove the nails into his hands and feet.
It is not my intent to guilt anyone into going out and defending Christ to an antagonistic world (although if this inspires anyone to do so, I won’t discourage them :-)). I only seek to provide some perspective and a reminder during this Passion season that we are all sinners and have fallen short of God’s glory. As such, we are all equally guilty of partaking in Jesus’ crucifixion in some fashion.
Ironically, it was because of this fact that Jesus let those nails be driven into him. It was our individual and corporate guilt that compelled him to come and live a perfect life, endure suffering and death, and ultimately rise victoriously to conquer sin and death. He did it all because we are all sinners deserving condemnation; we are all “the man who drove the nail.” Every single one of us.
Praise be to Jesus for redeeming us anyway!
Have a joyous and blessed Easter!