The Wonder of the Cross: Reflections on Nails, Wood, and Blood


Good Friday, a day when Jesus was nailed to the cross for us and our sins. Many wanted nothing to do with Him, His teachings, or the life to which He called others. His price was high. Long before crucifixion even was a possibility in the disciples minds, Christ asked them to take up their crosses. He wanted them to serve and sacrifice in such a radical way that society would either embrace or expel them. Such is what Christ endured and what we should also be willing to face as we find our identity in Him.

Christ’s teachings and Christ’s blood reveal all our hidden and microscopic sins. But don’t kid yourself, our sins aren’t tiny—they only appear to be so because of our desire to ignore or hide them. The cross calls us to embrace our sin, admit our faults, and humble ourself at the feet of Christ.

I have struggled to do this. I am proud and, by nature, don’t want to admit that I have done wrong. Deep within, I really don’t want to let go of newly adopted ways that I have come to love, but know God truly wants them let go.

Each seemingly small habit and sin, though they seem innocuous, is a fierce nail hammered into the cross. My sin pierces through His body, spilling His blood. Each tiny thought, action, or selfish motive is another nail hammered in.

It is time we face our actions. It is time we own our sins. Though with tears, we must take our nails and hammer them in. By His blood we are saved. And although many people standing there watching Him die didn’t want Him there, all needed Him to hang on that wretched cross.

Good Friday, in essence, is our chance to recognize our sinful nature and His willingness to die for us so that we may radically love in such a way that moves others.

The image and reflection were captured and written by Elisenda Castro, THEOLOGY21’s resident photographer and artsy thinker.

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  • There is a lot of wisdom in what you have written. “But don’t kid yourself, our sins aren’t tiny…” I love that line! If we can come to grips with our true condition, we can see the true significance of Christ’s sacrifice.

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