Every carpenter knows that different types of applications are better built when the correct nail is used. For example, when attaching molding to a project you would not want to use the common nail with a large head. You want finishing nails with small heads. If the project is a 2X4 frame, you would want to use a 16d nail with a large head to hold the pieces securely together. The “d” is from the Greek “denarius,” an early Roman coin. Today we say, “a 16-penny nail.” This is a reference to how much it cost to purchase 100 nails from a blacksmith in ages past.
“Nail,” “nails,” “nailed” and “nailing” are found 19 times in the KJV. One interesting event is in the book of Judges, chapter 4. Jabin, king of Canaan ruled over Israel because of Israel’s “evil” in God’s sight. But when they cried out God sent Deborah and Barak to deliver them from captivity. Israel won the battle. Sisera was the commander of Jabin’s army. As he fled the battle he entered the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber. He, being tired from battle, laid down to sleep, believing he had escaped Barak. But as he slept, Jael took a nail and a hammer and drove it through Sisera’s temple (Jdg. 4:21). OUCH!
What kind of nails were used to nail Jesus to the cross? Was there a special kind of nail they manufactured just for this purpose? The Bible does not give us an answer. It does say, “The other disciples therefore said to him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ So he [Thomas] said to them, ‘Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe’” (Jn. 20:25). He wanted proof. The nail prints and spear wound were ample proof. Eight days later, when Thomas saw Jesus and the nail prints in His hands, he boldly declared, “My Lord and my God” (Jn. 20:28).
Was the one who drove the nails an experienced nail driver? Have you ever had an inexperienced nurse try to insert an IV? Most likely this person who drove the nails into Jesus hands and His feet simply believed he was nailing a common criminal to His “just deserts.” He had no idea that the Law of Moses was being nailed to that old wooden cross. Colossians 2:14 says, “having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”
Those nails (metaphorically) built a bridge between prophecy and fulfillment (Mk. 14:21). Those nails built a bridge for you to cross from sin to sanctification (Heb. 10:10), from condemnation to justification (Rom. 5:9). Those nails built the bridge from corruption to incorruption and from mortal to immortality (1 Cor. 15:53). Those nails made the bridge that allows you to get off the “broad way” that leads to destruction and get on the “narrow way” that leads to life (Mat. 7:13-14). Those nails are not valued by the price of a blacksmith, but are valued in the price paid for your sins (Col. 1:14). The driver of those nails most likely believed that the blood that he was flowing from the nail-pierced skin was just like any other blood he had seen flow. But this blood was the precious blood of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (1 Pet. 1:18-19; Jn. 1:29).
The next time you see some nails, what might you think about?