Long ago, a young Jewish man, who was turning the world upside down, died by execution on a Roman cross.
The night before, He was betrayed by one from His inner circle and put through a complete sham of a trial. Then He was beaten and flogged to the point where He was beyond recognition. In addition to all this, He was laughed at and mocked in the cruelest of ways. No mercy was shown to Him.
Then, it was Friday. Execution day. He was laid down on wooden beams. Nails were driven into His body. Through His hands and through His feet. These nails were tough and solid. They held victims in their place on a cross while they endured a slow agonizing death in front of spectators.
The nails were strong, indeed. There's no denying that. But the truth is, they are not what ultimately kept Him on that cross.
See, this man was not an ordinary man. He was also ... GOD. If He wanted to, He could have called an army of angels down from to Heaven to rescue Him and take Him away. If He chose to, He could have wiped all of those Roman soldiers off the face of the Earth instantly. But He did not do either of those. He chose to stay in place, suffer, and die.
Ultimately, it was something other than the nails that held Him on that cross.
Simply put, it was love. His love for you and for me was what kept Him in place. He once said, "Greater love has no man than this, that He lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13). Love was all in Him and all over Him, and it was why He chose to do what He did.
He chose to pay for all of our sin on that cross, once and for all, so we would not have to pay for our sin in Hell for eternity. He chose to take our place. He chose to sacrifice Himself. Why? Because He loved you, me, and the rest of humanity.
No, the nails were not really holding Him there. Love was. Strong, deep, eternal, selfless love.
His name was Jesus. Jesus of Nazareth.
Today, let's remember Him.
Today, let's whisper a prayer of thanksgiving for Him.
Today, let's honor Him in all that we say and do.
What a love that was.
What a love....