Nails have many uses. Nails are neutral -- they can be used for a good purpose or for an evil purpose.
For the Bible makes it plain, “All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.” And Jesus’ words, “I came to save all peoples from their sins and to restore all peoples to new life…”
Nails were a part of Jesus' life and a part of Jesus' death. We sometimes forget that Jesus was a carpenter. His shop was full of nails, of every size and shape. Jesus used those nails to build houses, to mend fences, to make shelves and cabinets, to hang pictures, and for other useful purposes.
So, perhaps it was fitting that nails were a part of His death on the Cross. At the crucifixion, nails were used for an evil purpose.
Therefore, since the nails were neutral, who do we blame for Jesus' death? The person who designed the nails? The manufacturer? The person who bought and sold the nails? Caiaphas? Pilate? The Roman soldiers, who were just doing their job? The crowd? God, for creating the materials from which the nails were made? You and I? The answer is all of the above!
"Were you there when they crucified my Lord -- were you there when they nailed Him to the Tree?" Yes, all of us share the blame for Jesus' death. For the Bible makes it plain, "All of us have sinned and fallen short of God's glory." And Jesus' words, "I came to save all peoples from their sins and to restore all peoples to new life..."
In today's world, all the blame would be placed on the nails! Wrong answer! We haven't come to grips with the fact that evil happens -- and we have very limited control over it. Crucifixions, mass shootings, hurricanes, fires and floods; they happen, and we are limited in our ability to stop them. If a person is determined to harm or to kill people, there is not much anyone can do to stop them.
What can we do? We can set a Godly example for others to follow. We can show reverence for God and for all of life. We can be alert to those who would do harm to others. We can pray that God will bring some good out of every tragedy. We can accept part of the blame, since we all sin.
We can always remember that God alone can bring new life out of death. God can bring light out of every dark moment. God can turn our sorrows into joy. He can create peace out of all the turmoil. God can bring hope out of our despair. The nails that were meant for evil in Jesus' death became God's instrument for good, for salvation, for renewed hope, and for the promise of eternal life with Him.
Nails, like guns, knives, cars, rocks and any other thing are neutral. It's how we use them that makes the difference.
Let's determine to use all things for the good!
--DON KUEHLE IS A RETIRED UNITED METHODIST MINISTER WHO LIVES IN JACKSON, MO. OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR.Religion on 05/29/2019
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