Most of us have had an unpleasant encounter with a nail at one point in our lives. Years ago, I had an experience I won’t soon forget. I stepped on a nail which pierced right through my shoe and into my foot.

As if that were not painful enough, I had to be poked by a needle which looked big enough to kill a horse. You guessed it, I had to have a tetanus shot.

Although I have a painful memory associated with that nail, I also have a small reminder of how painful the nails of the cross must have been for our Lord.

Not only did Christ have to endure the throbbing pain of nails being pounded into his hands and feet, but He also had to bear the incredible weight of our sin. What He went through to pay our debt is beyond words. But He paid it all and through His nails, we can prevail over sin.

Take a moment to think about where you’ve failed the Lord, the things you’ve said you would take back and the thoughts you wish had never entered your mind. If you have not done so already, confess them to God.

Praise the Lord for His forgiveness right now. Everything you have mentally listed has already been paid in full and nailed to the cross. You can live victoriously because of the nail prints in Christ’s compassionate hands.

What if thou hadst committed the sins of a thousand? . . . Christ’s righteousness will cover, Christ’s blood will cleanse thee from the guilt of all. — George Whitefield

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder