Wednesday, 20 March 2013

We are all carpenters.

I wonder who can lay claim to being the guy that made the cross that Jesus hung from? Which skilled tradesman got the woodwork contract from the Romans?

Somebody must be responsible for choosing the wood, measuring the two beams and meeting the deadline for the Nazarene's trial.

Considering who that bloke was is an interesting thought. I'm sure he wouldn't have imagined just how famous his work would become. Hundreds and hundreds of years later, his craftsmanship is still depicted on artwork, jewellery,  tattoos and t-shirts, the world over. Hard to imagine, considering he probably just fixed those two beams together in a dusty workshop somewhere in ancient Jerusalem.

The reason I prompt these thoughts is because I've had a portion of a verse going round in my head today. It's five words from Acts 2, during which Peter is addressing the large crowd at Pentecost:

"...this Jesus whom YOU crucified." (v36)

Despite the fact that the Pharisees caught him, Pilate didn't want to have anything to do with him, the Roman guards mocked, whipped and beat his limp body and a carpenter made the cross that this fellow tradesman would one day hang from, we're all implicated in the Messiah's murder.

Me and you - the skilled craftsmen who may as well have whittled that cross out of tree trunks ourselves.

It's difficult to imagine the brutality involved - it's almost harder to stomach the fact that it was my sin that caused such an almighty response from The Almighty. The extent that He went to shows just how much God hates sin, whether it's a 'big' sin or a 'small' one (if you're trying to justify such differences!?).

The crowd that heard Peter's words were 'cut right to the heart' when this truth sank in. He urged them to change their life by turning to this crucified Christ as THE only antidote for sin.

Put down the sandpaper and the nails for a moment and read Acts 2 in it's entirety - what is your response to the charges going to be?