While driving to work yesterday morning, I was having my usual conversation with the Father (prayer). This is a time every work day that I can converse with Him, either out loud or just in my mind. He hears either way, and it gets my day started off right. While I was talking to Him, I was telling Him (actually confessing) that I know I am a sinner, and am very much looking forward to being Home (Heaven) in my new body and with a new mindset. (Any emphasis mine – Note: there will be some fairly graphic detail about our Savior’s sacrifice later.)
Then, a song came to my mind that I have not heard in a while, but it put a real conviction on me. Ray Boltz and Steve Millikan wrote and released “Feel the Nails” in 2008. I went to YouTube, and listened to it once more. Its meaning grew more relevant when I consider how rapidly the world is turning away from Jesus, and the true word of the Father.
We are told about the antichrists and false prophets (preachers) that were present in the days that Jesus walked on this earth. We are also told that near the end time – just before the 7-year Tribulation – that they and their activities would increase significantly. Prior to just a couple years or so ago, satanic activity was here, and has been all along, but not in the open or publicized as it is today. Now, there are satanic statues in front of courthouses in several places in our country, and “Churches of Satan” are springing up, even in the “Bible Belt” States. Demons were portrayed in the movies, but always as fictional beings. The Bible tells us they are very real.
The LGBT (and all the other letters) are becoming more and more active and vocal, yet they are still in the minority as far as population is concerned. They just yell louder than the conservatives. Satan is a master at organizing confusion.
On the flip-side, anything that has to do with Jesus and Christianity is being challenged as somehow being “illegal,” and Christian Business Owners especially are being denied their Constitutional rights to not be forced into any situation that would violate their religious beliefs. They’re being singled out by the radicals, and some liberal courts are ruling against these business Christians. Several cases are being appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court; but during the wait for a ruling, the business people are suffering financial destruction. Even some “far-left” radical members of Congress are calling Christians “haters.”
So far, we haven’t heard of any court challenges to any satanic organization or activity.
In the song, there’s a question: “Does He still feel the nails, every time I fail?” Also, “Am I still causing Him pain?” The final quote speaks volumes: “I’m tired of playing games; I really want to change. I never want to hurt You again!”
When anyone considers the pain of just the nails, we must also consider the whole crucifixion procedure. The Savior’s “sacrifice” was prophesied in Isaiah, which was written about six to seven hundred years before it happened. It was described in all four of the gospels as it happened; and if all are combined, we get a picture of just how terrible it really was. Crucifixion was not common during Isaiah’s time, but by the time of our Savior, the Romans had perfected the method to deliver the most pain and suffering possible.
Isaiah 52:13-14 gives an overview: “Look, My servant [Jesus] will succeed. He will be elevated, lifted up [on a cross], and greatly exalted; just as many were horrified by the sight of You; He was so disfigured, He no longer looked like a man.”
Before going to Calvary, Jesus was beaten and scourged unmercifully. It’s reported that some who were scourged died before being put on the cross. A special guard would use a type of whip that had multiple leather straps, and the ends contained pieces of metal or bones or other sharp objects for additional damage. Many times, vital organs would be exposed when the skin was torn away. A large volume of blood would be lost. A professional “scourger” would be able to beat someone to within an inch of their lives without killing them.
After this, the victim was forced to take their own cross (possibly just the cross-bar) on the “Via Dolorosa” (Latin for Way of Grief), which was a street in the old city of Jerusalem. It led to Golgotha, also called Calvary, where the crucifixion would take place.
At this point, Jesus was nailed to the cross, which added even more pain. The nails would not be driven through the hands, but between the bones of the wrist which contains many nerve bundles. A single nail would also be driven through the feet. Death was usually by asphyxiation, as a victim would have to “push” themselves up to be able to take in air. Each time, their backs would give great pain because of the scourging, and also the pain of the nails would be tremendous.
Eventually, they would be too weak to push their body up with their feet, and they would suffocate. If the crucifixion was to be “sped-up,” the soldiers would break the legs of the victim, causing a more rapid death. Jesus died before the soldiers could break His legs, fulfilling a prophecy that no bones would be broken in Him (John 19:36). One web source gave the average time a person would be alive on a cross as from 6 hours up to 4 days. Mark 15:25-37 said Jesus was on the cross from the third hour (about 9am) to the ninth hour (about 3pm) or six hours. Pilate was reported to be surprised when he heard Jesus had died so soon.
People have tried to say that Jesus only “fainted,” or was taken down before He actually died. The only problem with that theory is, if a Roman soldier would allow someone to come off a cross alive, that soldier would then take their place. Pathologists have studied the “art” of crucifixion, and have determined there would be no way for Jesus, as a human, to live through the ordeal. Especially when it is reported that when pierced with a spear, blood and water flowed, signifying death.
For anyone to believe that Jesus was forced into His death, John 10:18 dispels this. “No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down of my own free will. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it back again. [After all, He is God.] This commandment I received from the Father.”
At one point during His arrest, Peter drew a sword to defend the Master. Matthew 26:53 says Jesus told him to put the sword away, because if He wished, He could call “twelve legions of Angels” to rescue Him. Can you just picture the scene in Heaven of all the Righteous Angels just waiting for the word to save Jesus and destroy those who were killing Him?
If one would read Isaiah 53:1-12, they would see the prophecy of the sacrifice that would be given. Jesus fulfilled over 100 prophecies just by coming to the earth as a human. For anyone to deny He is the Messiah would be a fatal mistake.
Looking at all the above, how could I not feel totally ashamed of sins I commit? His pain and suffering was for Me! My guilt should put me on that cross, not the Son of God who was sinless. God requires perfection, and my blood could never attain that status. As with all humans, I have the “Garden of Eden Sin Nature” in me. Only the pure, spotless unblemished blood of an innocent “Lamb” would be worthy. Therefore, only God Himself could, and did, supply what was needed. By accepting this sacrifice, we have the “gift” of being forgiven, because of His pain and suffering He endured. To not accept this “gift” is understandably the “unforgiven sin.”
When someone gives you a gift, it’s proper to open it and accept what was given. To leave it unwrapped, or to refuse that gift would be an insult to the giver. This is the same with our “Gift of Salvation.” What Jesus gave us is worth more than all the treasure this earth can contain. We are offered eternal life in paradise with Him and with all our wants and needs taken care of forever.
Review Romans 10:9-10 for the only stipulations to having this treasure as your own. Confess, believe, have Faith the offer is genuine, and it was paid in full by our Savior. Know that we cannot buy, earn or deserve this gift. However, all who call on Him will be saved (Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13).
Time is getting short; all the signs given by Jesus, Paul and others are here, and it’s getting more evil on this earth daily. The Lord could return for His Church (all believers) at any moment.
Once the believers are removed, this world will enter a 7-year period of wrath shortly thereafter. All, Everyone could avoid this tribulation period by accepting Jesus now. To think someone could call out to be saved as the Rapture starts is impossible. Consider the fact that it will be in the “twinkling” or “blinking” of an eye (depending on the translation) as told in 1 Corinthians 15:52. This has been calculated by people much more educated than myself as 1/60th of a second or less.
This world is temporary, yet some prefer what is offered here by the Prince of Darkness – Satan.
When you leave this earth, you will either be with Jesus forever, or scheduled for the Lake of Fire forever. There is no other option. No one is “good enough” or has done enough “good deeds” to earn their salvation. John 14:6 tells us Jesus is the only Way, Truth and Life which will bring us into the presence of the Father. Your choice, your decision; it’s on an individual basis. No one else can get you into heaven, no matter what false statements they may make.
Please choose wisely, and choose soon!