In Mel Gibson’s Movie, “The Passion of the Christ”, there is an interesting detail in the crucifixion scene that probably goes unnoticed by most people, but it is a detail that says so much. When Jesus is being placed on the cross, the camera comes close to watch as a large spike is positioned in the middle of Jesus’ hand. Then, a mallet comes into focus, and a rugged hand swings it to drive the spike. Those are all things you expect to see. But there is something you don’t see. You never see the face of the one who drives that nail. You never get a glimpse into the eyes, or heart of the one who violently pounds away until the spike has passed through Jesus’ flesh and comes to rest in the wood of the cross.
You might be interested to know that the person who plays that role in the movie is the director himself, Mel Gibson. But why does he never show the face of the one who put Jesus on the cross? Why does he not give us the identity of the one who had the gall to put the Son of God to death? He didn’t show us that face because that face was his. It was also ours. We are the ones who put Jesus to death. It wasn’t the Romans. It wasn’t the Jews. It was our sin that nailed Jesus to the cross.
Colossians 2:13-14 says: “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.” Today we recognize what is commonly known as Palm Sunday. That was the day that Jesus made His triumphant entry to Jerusalem. It was also just a few days before He would die on a rugged cross. As we gather today to worship, let us take the time to remember Jesus’ sacrifice–a sacrifice made for us—a sacrifice made for even the ones who drove the nails in his hands.