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The Nails of the Cross

            Matthew tells us that the mob on the hill of Calvary challenged Christ to "come down from the cross" (Matt. 27:40). What held Christ to the cross? 

            IT WAS NOT THE NAILS THAT HELD HIM ON THE CROSS. He had the power to remove the nails. He could have called "more than twelve legions of angels" to remove him from the cross (Matt. 26:53). He who could still the storm, feed the muiltitude, and raise the dead, could have removed the nails. That crowd could not have killed Christ if he had not wished to do His Father's will. "Therefore doth my father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay down of myself..." (Jn. 10:17-18).
            THE FATHER'S WILL AND WISH HELD HIM ON THE CROSS. Jesus prayed and said, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt" (Matt. 26:39). It was the will of God that His Son become the "atoning sacrifice, for our sins" (1 Jn. 2:2). The Savoir's love and our sins held Christ to the tree.
            GOD'S ETERNAL PURPOSE HELD CHRIST TO THE CROSS. Jesus died to purchase th church with His own blood (Acts 20:28). The church is the institution through which the eternal purpose of God is to be made known to the world (Eph. 3:10). Without Christ's death, God's purpose for the world would have been aborted. Thus His love for God and man held Him to the cross and not the nails.
            THE JOY SET BEFORE CHRIST HELD HIM TO THE CROSS. The "author and perfector of our faith" disregarded His suffering and "for the joy set before him endured the cross despising the shame" (Heb. 12:2). The angry mob's mocking at the cross was ignored by Christ becasue of the "joy set before Him."
*Neither the lack of power nor the nails held Jesus to the cross. His resignation to the will of God and His love for the souls of mankind bound Him to the tree on which He died.
Robert Notgrass

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