The following is a re-post from a few years ago. I find it to be most appropriate today.
When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing. Luke 23:33-34
Consider the common nail. Its purpose is to hold things together; its design suits its function very well. When a nail is first employed its sharpened point violently and efficiently pierces the surface of the one material to be fastened to the other. Driven deeper and deeper, the nail finally penetrates the one, and then begins sinking deep into the other. Given enough length, the nail will finally penetrate the second object where its shaft may be bent over so that the two in essence become one providing great strength and security. The two objects are joined, affixed. Only until one is ripped from the other, or the nail straightened and driven back can the two be separated.
Consider the hand. Its purpose is to grasp and to hold things. Its design suits its function very well. When the hand is first employed it reaches out with an intended purpose. Its fingers grasp an object and hold it firmly, supporting as much weight as it can bear. When the weight becomes too great, one hand may reach out in assistance to another. Given the right set of circumstances, a hand can provide great strength and security. It can provide a means to do work, or as in many circumstances, a hand can apply a gentle loving touch, a simple caress. Hands can even speak. No, they cannot talk, but they can communicate. Hands can say “I love you.”
Now consider the cross, where nails and hands meet. Neither functions toward its desired purpose. The nail rips through the flesh of the hand, penetrating through to the rough wooden beam. The hand is wounded, broken, bleeding. It is unable to grasp, unable to hold. The nail is misused in a most despicable way, tearing down rather than building up. It restrains the hand, destroys its ability to do work, to apply a gentle loving touch. The nail denies the hand its desire to touch, to apply a gentle caress. Yet, given the right set of circumstances, the hand still speaks. Though wounded and bleeding, pierced and dying, the hand reaches out and says “I love you.”
Photo credit unknown.