Easter Devotional | 2024 - Day 6

Jesus Nailed to the Cross

By Hannah Sedwick

“When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.” ~ Luke 23:33

For this devotional, I want to start with a challenge. Go make a list of each and every sin you have ever committed—just kidding! If you’re like me, this would be an impossible task. I would never be able to find enough paper, ink, hand power, or time to do this. I would not even be able to remember every single one of my sins. So, rather than dwelling on your past sins, just tuck the image of a never-ending list of your sins in the back of your mind as you read on.

The key verse for this devotional, Luke 23:33, can be read in less than seven seconds. But this seven-second statement adds important, unfathomable weight to the story of Jesus’ death and what it means for us as believers and followers of Christ.

We often mention that Jesus was “nailed to the cross,” but it’s easy to gloss over what this really means and how it greatly impacts us. Crucifixion was designed to be as slow and painful as possible. The word “excruciating” is actually derived from the word “crucifixion” to emphasize painful, drawn-out suffering. 

Before Jesus was crucified, He was beaten, flogged, mocked, spit on, and ridiculed. After all of this, He was likely unrecognizable because of His wounds. Jesus’ cross would have been laid flat on the ground, and He likely was thrown on top of the wood, further opening and deepening His injuries. From there, the Roman soldiers drove seven-inch spikes through His wrists. The nerves in Jesus’ hands would have been destroyed, causing extreme pain to shoot through His arms. One more spike was driven through the tops of both of His feet to secure His lower body to the cross, damaging His nerves and causing extreme pain in His lower body. As the cross was lifted up, Jesus’ weight fell on the nails in His wrists. Air moved into Jesus’ lungs, but in order to exhale, He had to push up on the spikes in his feet. 

Luke 23:33 says, “…they crucified Him…” This statement seems short, but it carries an eternal weight when considering our redemption. Christ suffered unbelievable pain for sins we committed. 1 John 1:8 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves.” As I mentioned earlier, each one of us could produce what would seem like a never-ending list of our sins. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We deserve to be nailed to a cross for our sins, but praise God for the words in Colossians 2:13-14: “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”

As Jesus was being brutally nailed to the cross, God was accomplishing a great work. In those days, the Romans would place a sign on top of each criminal’s cross stating their offense. Each prisoner died to pay for the sins that they committed, yet Christ died for the sins that I committed. As Jesus’ wrists and feet were nailed to that cross, so was my long list of transgressions. If you believe that Jesus died for your sins, then your list was nailed to the cross, too. You bear those sins no more. Psalm 103:12 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us that “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

It might be difficult to reflect on the horrible pain of the cross. However, it should move us to thanksgiving for all that Jesus suffered on our behalf. The cross, though designed for suffering, is now our reminder of God’s never-ending love and mercy.

Questions for Thought

  1. How does the visual of your sins being nailed to the cross impact how you worship the Lord?
  2. Who do you know that needs to hear this great news?

Daily Challenge

Next time you feel shame from a sin, write it on a piece of paper and then destroy it.

Author Bio

Hannah Sedwick

Communications Associate, Project Manager

Hannah Sedwick is the Communications Associate and Project Manager at First Dallas. She graduated from Baylor University, where she was an All-American volleyball player, with a B.A. in Corporate Communication and an M.A. in Communication. She and her husband, Jay, enjoy cooking, golfing, serving with the College & Career ministry, and spending time outside with their Goldendoodle.

Author in Israel