We are told that Jesus was nailed to a Cross made of wood. Not a nice wood, smooth and hard with a pretty grain pattern. It would have been a cheap piece of wood. Some people will try to figure out if the nails went into the palm or the wrists. Others might speak about how the wood crosses. Some will even claim that this is what God wanted and that it is good for us. Maybe there will be forensic talk about whether he died from shock, blood loss, dehydration, or suffocation.
You and I do not really care about any of that or what is real about the story. We just think about how horrible the whole thing seems.
But the story is intriguing. The nails did not kill him. They used the nails to keep Jesus where they wanted him. Nailed, he is out of their way, out of their business, away from those who might hear him and give God a radical trust.
We do it today too to keep him where we want him. Nailed to a cross he saves us from sin and gets us into heaven, freeing us to not worry (or do anything) about it. Nailed to the Cross Jesus can not get into our lives, teaching directing, disturbing us. Nailed he is dead. If he was living we might have to pay more attention to him. We might expect to see him in the face of those around us, especially in the least, the lost and the lowest of humanity. Nailed to the cross, Jesus can do the work he is suppose to do of saving us, and we do not have to have to worry about anyone's expectation that he could or even should be seen in our own face. We at least are free, free to act as we want as long he is where we want him - nailed to the cross saving us from sin.
Of course it is futile to think that he will stay there for all of history. And now he walks among us, changing lives and hearts. Teaching young and old. Disturbing our order and control. Expecting us to be alive to him. Leading us to trusting God.
Life would have been easier if we could have kept him nailed away from us. Now we have to think about Jesus being in our lives. But it is good Friday for that.