His Nails Hold Me Fast

"There is a fountain filled with blood

Drawn from Emmanuel's veins,

and sinners, plunged beneath that flood,

Lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see

That fountain in his day;

and there may I, though vile as he,

Wash all my sins away..."

William Cowper


His Nails Hold Me Fast
Martha Meister Kiely
"Unless I see in his hands the print of nails...I will not believe." John 20:25

Children love to play with nails. I imagine that Jesus, being reared in a carpenter's shop, was no exception. As he fondled nails and drove them into bits of wood, he could not have guessed that nails would one day pin him to a cross. But they did. And today nails have become symbols to us of his suffering.

It is our Lord's suffering which makes it impossible for me to reject him. His cross itself pierces like a nail into my indifference and holds me captive. I have become a prisoner of the Christ of the scars who so loved me that he gave himself for me.

I cannot always accept the cross, but the cross helps me to understand the seriousness of sin in my own life.

I cannot always comprehend the cross, but the cross helps me to comprehend the wonderous love of God.

Today nail down our indifference and become a prisoner of God's love.
Isaiah 53
Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised,
and we esteemed him not.
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
And who can speak of his descendants?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After the suffering of his soul,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors. (NIV)

Pray: Christ of the scars, I do believe that thou didst endure suffering in my stead. I thank thee for the burden of sin which thou has lifted from my soul. I now present my soul and body as living sacrifice to thee, which, after all, is my reasonable service. Amen.

Devotions for Women at Home, Martha Meister Kiely, Abington Press, ISBN 0-687-10679-6

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