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The $300 Hammer

Perspective Suffering Jesus' Suffering

Contributed By: Jeff Johnson | Date Posted: 2015-03-02

Scripture: 1 Peter 4:12

Author: Jeff Johnson
8

ILLUSTRATION

I once spent two weeks in Brownsville, Texas, volunteering for World Mission Builders erecting a church from the ground up. When we left it was ready for brick on the outside and drywall inside.

While we saved the newly planted church nearly a half a million dollars in labor, it still was very costly work. Not only did it cost time, it also cost a lot of pain. Hammering nails all day takes its toll on the forearms, especially untrained forearms like mine. I had never hammered so many nails. I hammered floor joist braces, hammered spacers up in the rafters, hammered off the same spacers once the rafters where supported.

We were hammering all the time, and my arms ached all the time. I even bought some BenGay at a local Walmart and rubbed it in each night.

On the very last working day of the trip, a vendor showed up carrying five hammers for us to try out. I just happened to be standing close enough to receive one. It was made of titanium and looked very modern. The rep said the hammer retails for $300. I felt very unqualified to be the new owner of a $300 hammer and yet I couldn’t wait to bring it back home and show it off to my family and friends. I asked the rep what made it so special, and he explained that the design of the hammer absorbed the shock that causes muscle fatigue. I knew that fatigue well.

I had some final jobs to do that afternoon, and as usual they included some hammering. So I tried out my new $300 hammer, and immediately felt the difference. My first thought was, “This is exactly what I need!” My second thought was, “Where was this two weeks ago!? This is the last day of my mission trip, I have already been through a bottle of Advil and half a tube of BenGay!”

APPLICATION

After reflecting on my work trip, I have come to appreciate exactly how the events in Brownsville turned out. If the vendor would have shown up on the first day and handed me the $300 hammer, I never would have known its true worth. I certainly wouldn’t have gone home night after night nursing my forearms. Most importantly, I would have never felt the difference between a $30 hammer and a $300 hammer.

Sometimes we need a little pain to appreciate the remedy.

Additional Application:

The pain we have experienced, whether because of our own choices or simply because of life's difficult circumstances, makes the cross all the more meaningful.

Imagine if Jesus had taken away not only our sin debt at the cross, but also all suffering and pain. We would exist in this world without any first hand knowledge of suffering. Pain would be an historical subject, but not something experiential. Would we ever really know what Jesus went through for us?

I know none of us can fully grasp the depth of humiliation, agony and suffering Jesus experienced as He hung on that cross, but we can imagine at least some of it.  We've all experienced some degree of pain, loss, and suffering in our lives. If we hadn't, Jesus suffering would be completely unrelatable.

Take it a step further and consider the cure. If we never even touched the edges of the sufferings of Christ, would we be able to appreciate the freedom the cross brings? Would we feel the weight lifted, the guilt paid for, or the shame taken away? Would we long for the promises of the cross, including the day Jesus wipes away every tear?

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed" (1 Peter 4:12-13).

Illustration Exchange

What Would It Feel Like To Carry His Cross

Jesus' Suffering Die To Self Good Friday

Source: "Carrying the Cross" by Ann Graham Lotz, as quoted in PASSION WITH A PURPOSE: 40 DAYS WITH GOD, Day 18

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-14

Scripture: Luke 14:27

Author: Anne Graham Lotz
7

ILLUSTRATION

"Imagine," says Anne Graham Lotz, "what it would have been like to be Simon, and to have carried the cross of Christ while following Him up Calvary:

"What would it have been like to have shared in the humiliation of rejection as He was cast out of the city? What would it have been like to have felt the sticky warmth of His blood from the cross on your skin? What would it have been like to have felt the encroaching horror as the place of execution neared? What would it have been like to have seen the executioners who stood waiting impassively with hammers in hand?"

Anne Graham Lotz (1948 - ) is an American Christian evangelist. She is the second daughter of evangelist Billy Graham and his wife Ruth Graham. She founded AnGeL Ministries, and is the author of 11 books, of which her best known is Just Give Me Jesus.

APPLICATION

"What would it have been like," Lotz asks, "to have the burden of the cross lifted from your back as someone said, 'This is His cross; you're free to go now,' and He was nailed to it, not you?"

It is a relief shared by each one of us, each and every time we ponder His cross and His sacrifice on our behalf.

Indeed, "Burdens are lifted at Calvary."

"He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed" (1 Peter 2:24).

God Was Silent

Jesus' Suffering Innocence God's Love

Source: Innocence Project and THE APPLAUSE OF HEAVEN by Max Lucado

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-07

Scripture: Matthew 27:46

Author: Illustration Exchange / Max Lucado
3

ILLUSTRATION

The annals of history are full of instances of the miscarriage of justice. Innocents wrongly accused, and worse yet, wrongly punished. It's because of the commonness of such occasions that the Innocence Project was first founded. From its webpage we read, "The Innocence Project is a nation litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice."

The men and women who belong to the project are go getters, tenacious, unrelenting in the efforts the right wrongs, clear names, and tip the scales of justice back in favor of the innocent.

If the innocence project had existed when Jesus received His farce of a trial they might have jumped all over the case. Surely a DNA test would prove conclusively that Jesus was in fact the very Son of God--sinless!

Yet God, the very Author of Justice, was there and did nothing. To have intervened would have been to have thwarted His own plan for our redemption and salvation.

APPLICATION

Author Max Lucado, in his book THE APPLAUSE OF HEAVEN, has this to say:

It wasn't right that spikes pierced the hands that formed the earth. And it wasn't right that the Son of God was forced to hear the silence of God. It wasn't right, but it happened. For while Jesus was on the cross, God sat on his hands. He turned his back. He ignored the screams of the innocent. He sat in silence while the sins of the world were placed upon his Son. And he did nothing while a cry a million times bloodier than John's echoed in the black sky: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Was it right? No.

Was it fair? No.

Was it love? Yes.

"About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" which means 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' " (Matthew 27:46).

Max Lucado is one of the most beloved American authors and speakers of this generation. Most of his books have appeared on one or more best seller lists, including those published by the "New York Times," "USA Today," "Publishers Weekly," and the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA).

Clothing Exchange

Righteousness Judgment of Believers Jesus' Suffering

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-07

Scripture: Mark 15:24 ; Isaiah 64:6

Author: Anne Graham Lotz
1

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Washing Our Hands Of Jesus

Justice Jesus' Suffering Persecution

Contributed By: Rod Crowell | Date Posted: 2014-01-01

Scripture: Matthew 27:24 ; John 18:28

Author: Rod Crowell
3

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What's So Good About Good Friday?

Good Friday Jesus' Suffering Grace

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-03-18

Scripture: 2 Peter 2:24

Author: J. Cole Weston
2

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He Hung Naked And I Never Thanked Him

Thankfulness Jesus' Suffering Shame

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-11-21

Scripture: Philippians 2:8

Author: Corrie ten Boom
5

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Giving Quotes Part 2

Giving Quotes Part 2

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-09-19

Author: Various
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Forgiveness Quotes Part 2

Forgiveness Quotes Part 2

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-06-16

Author: Various
4

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Temptation Quotes

Temptation Quotes

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-18

Author: Various
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