Posted in theology

The nails in the Crucifixion

By Elizabeth Prata

The crucifixion. Excruciating, painful, humiliating. It was the worst form of execution ever invented. The Romans didn’t invent it, the Persians did, but the Romans honed it for the execution of the worst of their society’s criminals.

If you are a Christian, you’ve no doubt been sitting under a pastor at some time, or heard one online, describing in detail the elements of what the Romans/Jews/Us did to the Lord on the cross, and even before. Scourging and beatings were part of the execution, so as to make the time on the cross even more excruciating. As a matter of fact, the word excruciating comes from crucifixion. The Latin word excrucio means From ex- (“out of, from”) +‎ cruciō (“crucify; torture, torment”).

I saw this tent peg and snapped a photo of it. I know that we say “He was nailed to the cross” and He was. But don’t think of little picture hangers or small nails in handyman projects. The nails to nail Jesus to the cross were huge, thick, iron things more like spikes According to one website, they were likely 7-9 inches in length.

If you’d like to read more about the actual crucifixion, this link takes you to a short and good essay. I’d re-post it here but the authors ask not t re-post their material online as it confuses the search engines. I’ve only read one article on the site, but the article in my opinion is good.

On this Lord’s Day, it’s good to ponder the actual crucifixion, what He did for us. It was our sin that kept Him nailed him to the cross. As I’d read long ago, the only man-made thing in heaven will be the scars on Jesus’ hands and side.

Please read, if you desire: Jesus’ Nails

Further Reading

Ligonier Devotional: The Crucifixion of Jesus

Monergism- Essays on Topics of Cross, Crucifixion


Posted in prophecy, Uncategorized

The Carpenter

Yesterday I wrote a short bit about Joseph, foster-father of Jesus, and posted Gari Melchers’ painting of The Nativity.

Today I will mention just this. In biblical times (now, too), the son took on the father’s profession. The tailor’s son became a tailor. The butcher’s son became a butcher. The blacksmith’s son became a blacksmith. The fisherman’s son became a fisherman. My own father, and his father before him, became a funeral director.

Many professions are mentioned in the New Testament. Tentmaker, tanner, lawyer, merchant, silversmith, coppersmith, governor, soldier, shepherd, scribe, tax-collector, seller of purple, potter, all those professions and more populate the pages.

Of all the professions God could have chosen for the foster-father of Jesus to be, and then Jesus himself, God chose carpenter.

Why not Shepherd? After all, Psalm 23:1 explicitly identifies the Lord as a metaphorical shepherd. Why not an actual one? It was a frequently mentioned profession. Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, Amos, and even Rachel were shepherds. The motif was huge. But no. He is the Good Shepherd, but not a shepherd.

Many of the disciples were fishermen…but God did not choose for Jesus to be a fisherman, even though He became a fisher of men.

Tax collectors were hated, and Jesus was destined to be rejected and hated, but God did not choose for Jesus to be a tax collector.

On a brief side note, we know that Jesus knew of His mission. He was there to follow God’s will. He said as much in the first NT recorded words of His incarnation: Did you not know I must be about my Father’s business? (Luke 2:49). He knew who His Father was and He knew what he was there to do. And He said later at the Wedding at Cana, before He began His public ministry, “My time has not come.” (John 2:2). We know He knew of his life, and his death. It would be on that most painful grotesque, cursed methods of execution, nailed to a tree. Even death on a cross.

So, as Jesus grew and learned His foster-father’s trade, as the carpenter pounded nails every day, did He wonder about the nails that were to pierce Him? Did He see the holes in the wood even as he took over Joseph’s shop upon Joseph’s death? Did He think about the holes in His hands and feet as he worked in the wood shop? He said in the Garden of Gethsemane upon the night of His arrest, that His spirit was willing, but his flesh was weak. Always the nails were before Him.

Jesus had an entire lifetime to see wood and nails, and to keep the method of his painful death always before His eyes.

Praise Him to the highest for His love.