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THE STORY BEHIND THE SONG
These Nails were Never Made for Love Displayed
The seed for this song was sown one day as I worked with some large nails in my shed. They were six inches long and, being quite thick, needed an extra heavy lump hammer to drive them. As I contemplated the size of the nails I held, I shuddered at the thought of hitting my hand as I drove them.
At this moment I was reminded of what happened to Jesus Christ who was crucified with nails deliberately driven through His flesh. The nails I held were modern, clean steel nails. But the nails used on Jesus would have been big, rough pieces of iron; brutal lumps that I would not even choose to use for woodwork.
At the same time I was struck by the injustice that Jesus had done no wrong and did not deserve His punishment. And if it had been a choice between Jesus or me, it should have been me.
These thoughts stayed with me and became the inspiration for the song “These Nails O Lord.” The song is a prayer to God that speaks of how those nails could hardly be a less appropriate or fitting way for the love of God to be displayed; Jesus in His crucifixion was treated with less respect than a piece of wood; the living God was fixed to a dead piece of wood.
“After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put His own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him” (Matt 27:31, NIV).
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