Horatio Spafford articulated it so well in the classic Hymn "It Is Well With My Soul" when he penned the beautiful stream-of-conciousness lyric:
My sin--O the bliss of this glorious thought--my sin, not in part but the whole, is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more... Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!
At our Good Friday services this past week, those in attendance were invited to put flesh on the bone of that poignant declaration. We were each asked to write a sin on a small piece of paper. Then during a time of worship at the end of the service--which included communion, prayer, singing and the opportunity to give our financial offerings--we were also to come forward and nail our sins to the cross.
We had a large cross--10' x 5'6"--made for the services. Now, we're well aware this wasn't some brilliant idea that no one had ever thought of... we knew it had been done before. In fact, we had done it before. But, for some reason, we'd not realized--at least I'd not realized--the impact it would make... not just on the congregation, but on those presenting as well. During the first service, I was absolutely wrecked by the sound of the hammers. My voice broke along with my heart as I closed my eyes and imagined my Savior on that very cross, having nails driven through him in cacophonous fashion by men, women and children alike. I couldn't help but take some photos afterward, the first of which is the cross from my perspective up on the platform.