A sinless man died for the redemption of sinners. God Himself ventured into a broken world to bind its wounds and mend its tattered heart. As Christ lay on the cross beam, nails waiting near His hands, we think this...this is the agony of the Cross.
God has told us time and time again that He was gloried to die for us. That if it had been for the sake of only one sinner, He would have done it all. He humbled Himself and died, and that was ok with Him. Nail-pierced perfection was never the agony of the Cross.
The pain Jesus endured was this: one nail through His right hand meant that hand could never touch the world; one through His left said there was no more here He could reach; and one through His feet forced the Messiah to stay when His entire mission had been to go.
Nothing to touch, no way to reach, nowhere to go, and what this God-Man is able to do in this world seems done. He's got no way to give more, to serve more, to live more, to love more. This...this moment on the cross...is it. It's all He's got left, and it doesn't seem like a whole lot.
Think about it. Here was a Messiah born to touch His world - to give sight to a blind man, to heal the deformity of the cripple, to help the paralytic to His feet. Jesus had spent His ministry touching men and women and by the power of one nail, the Cross pierced that touch.
Here was a Messiah born to reach the unreachable, to extend Himself beyond His body in order that men and women might know more of God. He dined with the tax collectors, brunched with the sinners, preached to the broken, forgave the vile, cleansed the unclean. Jesus had spent His ministry reaching everyone, every heart and by the power of one nail, the Cross cut short that reach.
Here was a Messiah born on the move, never having a place to call His own and never needing one. His feet took Him throughout the region, to mountains and shores, to valleys and villages, down a palm-covered road and out onto a storm-ravaged sea. Jesus had spent His ministry going and by the power of one nail, the Cross made Him settle.
That is the agony of the Cross.
But the beauty of God is this: the agony of the Cross is crushed by the glory of it. In one pierced hand, Christ was able to touch the whole world. In the other, He was able to reach beyond the region of Galilee, beyond the fertile crescent, beyond the confines of time and into sinners' hearts for generations upon generations to come. By the nail in His feet, He took a stand and there is nowhere the message of Christ cannot go.
The people thought they nailed a Christ to that Cross. But the truth is much more revealing: they gave a Cross to that Christ. Three little nails weren't about to stop Him; He was just getting started.