The thought of the all powerful, almighty God choosing to send His only Son to die for my sins so that I can live for an eternity with Him is incredibly overwhelming.
Now, it’s not that people don’t die for causes or people they care about but for a God-Dad to send His God-Son to die… For me? It has to be the greatest gift of all time.
A few years ago I had the honor of producing an Easter TV special featuring my good friend and award winning author, Max Lucado and a cadre of worship artists (Wes King, Kim Hill, Twila Paris and others.) The special is based on the best selling book of the same title; He Chose The Nails.
As we neared this Easter season I dug out the DVD and watched it again on a long flight.
The production itself is gorgeous and spectacular. The music is powerful, the performances tender and touching but it was something Max said directly to the camera (and to all of us) that struck me with a punch. We shot in two locations, in New Orleans in front of a live crowd of a thousand at the Orpheus Theater and on a lone mountain top in Los Angeles. The Los Angels Fire Department allowed us build a cross on a steep rocky hill close to the desert and then light huge roman fires around the base.
At one moment, with the glow of the fire on his face and the cross out of focus behind him, Max delivers this challenge to every believer on the planet: ‘Linger on the hill of Calvary, rub a finger on the timber and press the nail into your hand. Taste the tinge of cheap wine and feel the scrape of a thorn on your brow. Touch the velvet dirt moist with the blood of God. Allow the tools of torture to tell their story.’
Yes, I know, Good Friday is not the actual date that Christ was nailed to the cross. And yes, I also know that this Sunday will not be the actual date that Christ rose from the dead. It’s not the date that is important, BUT it is that we take time to mark, remember and commemorate what Christ did for us.
This Easter Sunday, it will be busy, but I am stealing time away to “linger at the hill of Calvary.” I need it. I need it to remember Him.
One of the interesting things about the imagery of the “nails’ is its purpose. The gospels never refer to the ‘nails’ but Paul in Colossians 2:14 says that Jesus canceled the debt that held the charges against us. He took it and nailed it to the cross. The visual: The list of my sins and your sins and those of all humanity has been nailed to the cross of Christ and the blood of Christ has blotted them out completely covering those mistakes. Imagine that.
So with that I encourage you to take some seconds and cobble them together as a quiet moment and remember. Remember that your life was paid for with the highest price possible, in the most painful way possible, with the greatest gift possible. While Christ could have chose a painless death, He chose to feel the pain and suffering of all human kind, the sickness for every generation and the brokenness of all peoples everywhere; He Chose the Nails.
Check your local listings: He Chose The Nails airs on TBN this Easter Season. www.tbn.com