A Good Friday Meditation: Wood & Nails


He ran his hands along the piece of log he and his father had cut earlier in the morning. His brow glistened with sweat from the work he had done. The piece of log once part of a huge tree now lay chiselled and smoothened – the work of a carpenter’s hands. It would be used as part of a piece of furniture, perhaps a chair or table. The sun was setting now and the shadows growing longer.

The carpenter looked up from the work of his hands and glanced around the workshop. It was a place he had gotten fond of. It was a familiar place. The warm, musky smell of wood. The pieces of furniture, works of art the carpenter had lovingly, painstakingly carved out. The tools which lay about, tools which he now wielded with expert authority, almost an extension of himself. The scene brought a smile to his face. As his view traversed the place, his eyes fell upon the box of nails, shining as they caught the sun’s rays.

Something stirred in his mind. Visions of wood and nails. Visions of the cross. He cringed. He could almost feel the whip ripping into his flesh, tearing deep ravines into his body. He could almost hear the roar of the crowd baying for blood, mocking, insulting, ridiculing. And the cross. His mind’s eye saw in detail the nails being driven into his hands and feet, he crown of thorns piercing his head, his entire being suspended upon that tree of shame, the abandonment of the Father.

A shiver ran down his spine almost involuntarily. For a split-moment, his mind pondered various ways of escape, of release… from the impending event. Then he saw them. He saw the prostitute, living in shame, having no hope. He saw the leper, diseased, rejected, despised. He saw the little children, bullied, fearful, tearful. He saw the world, encased in chains, enslaved in sin, separated from the Father. It was enough. He made up his mind. The sacrifice would be worthwhile. The carpenter was going to Calvary.


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