by Tony Nester

The Real Miracle of the Cross
Tony Nester
Matthew 26:53

This was how they taunted Jesus as he hung on the cross in horrendous pain and wretched humiliation. The soldiers, the priests, the bandits -- they hurled their insults at him. You saved others, can't you save yourself! You claimed to have the power of God, so do a miracle now and step down from your cross. You promised us the Kingdom of God, so where's that kingdom now that you need it for yourself? Come down from the cross and we will believe in you.

Why kept him up there on the cross? What held him there so beaten and bloodied, twisted in pain, so naked and exposed?

Some said it was Roman nails that kept him there on the cross. Spikes of iron hammered through flesh and bone.

The Romans were experts at crucifixion and knew precisely how to intensify and prolong their victim's pain. Hearing the thud of spikes hammered through his hands and his feet it was obvious to some that the raw power of the Roman Empire had fixed Jesus to his cross and would keep him there until he died.

Others said it was the Jewish Law that kept him up on that cross. According to the Jewish authorities Jesus had blasphemed their Law of Moses and now he was suffering the Law's curse.

He had clamed to forgive sins. He had broken the Sabbath laws. He had elevated sinners to places of significance in the Kingdom of God. He had claimed to the Son of God. And now God was punishing him for his blasphemy.

Let him suffer. Let him be discredited. Let him be degraded. Yes, Roman nails were being used, but they were only the instruments of their Law and its righteousness. He was not coming down until he was dead.

Jesus' followers had no answer to those who taunted their Lord in his agony. They heard the nails pounding his body to the wood of the cross. They saw the triumph of the teachers of the Jewish Law. Jesus appeared to be both Rome's and Jerusalem's victim.

But when Easter came a ...

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