Wednesday, April 4

The Hammer That Dripped Blood


Standing over the blistering heat of the fire, as sweat trails down his dirty face, the smith fans the blazing flames with his bellows. As he finishes the hammer he is working on, he gives it a thorough check, making sure it will meet the critical eye of the centurion. As a smith for the Roman army, all his work goes into the hands of the soldiers.

After the centurion picks up the ready tools from the smith and approves them, he sets out to deliver them to his soldiers. On his way, he gives the hammer to one of the best soldiers under his command. The soldier’s use of the hammer this day? Crucifixion duty.

The soldier has endured the burden of this duty before. He hates this gruesome task.

Under the strain of this assignment, he ambles his way to skull hill, better known as Golgotha, where he joins the centurion and the other three soldiers already there. Standing there chatting with them, he hears that three prisoners are coming to be crucified. One of the prisoners is his charge.

He waits.

Standing there, he realizes that what he is about to do is the antithesis of the weather: it is one of those breathtaking, spring days that warms and rejuvenates the soul. Rivulets of white stream across the azure sky. A gentle breeze distills the fragrance of the flowering blossoms into the air.

Yet, impending gloom hangs in the air.

A large, jeering crowd, intermingled with a great many mourners, moves toward the hill on the Via Dolorosa. Three men bent under the weight of their own crossbeam trudge their way up the hill. A short distance behind them is another man, whipped beyond recognition, stumbling with agonized effort every step of the way. So disfigured and injured that another man carries his crossbeam for him.

This bloodied mess of a man now stands before the soldier. He wonders: Who is this man? What could he possibly have done to deserve this horrible beating? Surely, he wasn’t a soldier for he wears no hobnailed boots; he’s merely an ordinary sandaled man.

Sweat beads up on the soldier’s forehead. His heart races. His tongue sticks to the roof of his mouth.

The other soldiers, now finished crucifying their two prisoners, help tie the soldier’s prisoner to the crossbeam while the soldier readies his nail-spikes and his hammer. He bends down, steadies the nail in one hand and draws back his hammer in the other hand.

But before he can bring it down on the nail, he glances over at the prisoner. Peering at him, through the streaks of blood covering his face from the thorny crown twisted onto his head, are eyes of piercing kindness he has never seen before.

The centurion yells the soldier’s name, startling him. “Get on with it!”

The soldier turns his head away to focus on the nail. He forces himself to do the job he was ordered to do. His stomach churns and he feels like retching.

Completing the nailing of this man to the crossbeam, he looks down to see that he is splattered with blood and his hammer drips with the red life of the man.

The other soldiers fasten the man to the upright beam and the crucifixion is finished. The soldier looks up as he hears the man say, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

The soldier realizes now who this man is. Jesus. This is Jesus, the one everyone is talking about. Forgive? How can He forgive me for this horrid act?

He spins around as he hears the religious teachers and priests mocking this man on the cross. “He saved others, but he can’t even save himself! The King of Israel, is he? If he comes down from the cross right now, we will believe him! Let God rescue him now if he wants him, if he is the Son of God.”

One of the other criminals hanging next to this man Jesus says, “If You are the Christ, then save Yourself and us.”

But the other criminal rebukes him, “Don’t you even fear God as you’re dying? We surely deserve to die for what we’ve done, but this man? He hasn’t done anything wrong.” Turning to Jesus, he says, “Remember me when you enter your Kingdom.”

“Today, you will be with Me in Paradise.” Bowing His head, Jesus says, “It is finished! Father, I commit My Spirit to You.” And He breathes out His last breath.

“Surely, this was a righteous man,” says the centurion, shaking his head, and then solemnly orders the soldier to stand guard.

Stand guard? I just want to get out of here. What have I done?
So distraught that he cannot bear to look up at the naked body of this man on the cross, he lowers his eyes to the ground. He notices the bloody hammer still in his hand. He throws it down and backs away in horror.

Shame overwhelms him. He falls to his knees in regret.

Another soldier picks up the hammer and tries to give it to him. “Here’s your hammer” is met only with silence and a stare. He won’t touch it.

The next morning, the centurion finds the soldier dead.

~The hammer that dripped blood? Had my name engraved on it.

“Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me;
Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever;
One day He’s coming – O glorious day!”


~Thank You, Lord, for without Your suffering and death on the cross, I would have no resurrection joy!

~~In my joy, I agonized over this post. I know you understand why.



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55 Responses
  1. Lynn what a precious reminder of what Jesus did for us! I just love the way you write and help me 'feel' it!


  2. marygems Says:

    Lynn- this would have been so very hard to write- but you did it beautifully and brought new understanding to us. Indeed how hard it would be to look into those eyes of love, and still carry on hammering......
    May your Easter be blessed as you have blessed us with this inspired piece- thank YOU.


  3. Jack Brown Says:

    silence here....my fingerprints were on the hammer too..
    biiiig hug


  4. chris Says:

    Powerful words Lynn, I am awed by His great love. Thanks for this, beautiful!!


  5. It's always so agonizing to think of what Jesus, so pure and sinless, endured for us and our sinfulness. This is a powerful relating of events with your special unique twist. I'd never thought of it from this prospective, but it is very effective. We are blessed to know that this wasn't the end. May you have a beautiful and blessed Easter, rejoicing in the great love and joy of the Lord!


  6. lynnmosher Says:

    Thank you, MSFINM Stephanie! You always bless and encourage me! Easter blessings to you!


  7. lynnmosher Says:

    Mary, Mary! You are such a sweetheart. I thank you so much for your kind words. Makes my heart happy. Easter blessings to you!


  8. lynnmosher Says:

    Jacky, it is difficult, isn't it? Thank you. I so appreciate your comment. Easter blessings to you!


  9. lynnmosher Says:

    Chris, thank you. You bless me with your kind words. I deeply appreciate it. Easter blessings to you!


  10. lynnmosher Says:

    Connie, my sweet friend, thank you. You are a blessing! I appreciate your generous words. Easter blessings to you!


  11. Another powerful, yet beautifully written post. I love the way you make scripture come to life. Thank you.


  12. Powerfully written by one who loves Him. I have tears reading it, for as Jack said, my prints were on the hammer too, but joy in knowing I am His child and we will live eternally with Him.
    Happy Easter Lynn!


  13. Methinks someone ought to turn her hand to fiction. Taking history and fleshing it out such as this, with all it's poignancy, is a gift that should be used. Just sayin'!


  14. SandiGrace Says:

    This is beautiful! And painful! Oh Jesus, what you endured for us!
    Your post reminds me of Psalm 30:5b "weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."


  15. Mike Says:

    This is probably one of the best works of fiction and interwoven scripture. Wow! Very powerful. You can really feel the awe inspiring effect of hearing "father forgive them..."


  16. lynnmosher Says:

    Bless you, Carol! I so appreciate it. Easter blessings to you!


  17. lynnmosher Says:

    Kristin, thank you, dear one. Methinks I should have used Jack's fingerprints instead what I used! Oh, that is so joyous, isn't it...knowing we are eternally His? Whew! Easter blessings to you!


  18. lynnmosher Says:

    LOL Oh, Pegg! I don't think I'm long-winded enough to do fiction! You are so sweet to think otherwise! Thank you! Easter blessings to you!


  19. lynnmosher Says:

    Oh, yes, Sandi! That scripture is so perfect. Thank you so much for your kind words. Easter blessings to you!


  20. lynnmosher Says:

    Mike, I'm humbled and blessed by your kind and generous words. Thank you so much. Easter blessings to you!


  21. E. G. Lewis Says:

    Wonderful as always, Lynn. One wonders how the Roman soldiers- or the Nazi concentration camp guards-could do what they did. I heard a speaker discussing the Shroud of Turin recently. It indicates that Jesus was scourged form two different angles...there was a soldier on either side of him probably alternating blows. Based on the injuries,he said it appears that one man was just going through the motions, while the other seemed intent on doing as much damage as possible.


  22. Lorna Faith Says:

    Beautiful...thanks for reminding me of the Love that came down:)


  23. Nancy Says:

    This was very hard to read but harder for Him to endure and thank goodness His love for us is so large that He endured the shame of the cross that we might live with Him forever......


  24. lynnmosher Says:

    Edward, that is so interesting. Thanks so much for your comment and adding that bit of info. Easter blessings to you!


  25. lynnmosher Says:

    Lorna, thank you so much for visiting and commenting. I really appreciate it. Bless you. Easter blessings to you!


  26. lynnmosher Says:

    Nancy, I understand how hard it is to read. Even harder to write. Harder still to experience it. But praise the Lord, He did go through it. Thank you so much for dropping by. Bless you. Easter blessings to you!


  27. Great story, thank you.


  28. lynnmosher Says:

    Amy, I am so honored to have you visit. Thank you so much for taking time to read and comment on my post. Bless you! Easter blessings to you!


  29. Sylvia R Says:

    Riveting. And sad. I think of those who don't know what they're doing.
    But joy does come in the morning, for those who receive that forgiveness. Thank you, and God bless.


  30. What a unique viewpoint of the crucifixion story. Thank you for your thoughts and reminders of the price that was paid.


  31. Sandra Lee Says:

    That paints a powerful picture that clarifies for all of us the depth of our indebtedness to Jesus for our salvation. Very powerful!


  32. C.H. Dyer Says:

    Thank you, Lynn, for digging deep and expressing yourself so well through your writing.

    CH


  33. Bill Jones Says:

    Wonderful Lynn - thank you and Praise our Lord.


  34. lynnmosher Says:

    Sylvia, it is sad to think of those who don't know what they're doing. thank you so much for taking time to read and comment. Makes my heart happy. Easter blessings to you!


  35. lynnmosher Says:

    Christine, thank you so much for leaving me a comment. I deeply appreciate it. Easter blessings to you!


  36. lynnmosher Says:

    Sandra, I appreciate you visit. You've blessed me with your comment. Thank you! Easter blessings to you!


  37. lynnmosher Says:

    C.H., I'm humbled by your words. Thank you so much for your comment. Easter blessings to you!


  38. lynnmosher Says:

    Bill, thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I truly appreciate it. Easter blessings to you!


  39. Oh my, Lynn. Thank you for reminding me that there were likely soldiers who only carried out their orders and had no heart for them. Powerful. Hushed.


  40. Terrie Says:

    Beautiful!


  41. Lynn,

    Thank you so much for sharing this. There are no words that can describe how these words make my soul weep.


  42. lynnmosher Says:

    Thank you, dear Sandy. Your words truly bless me. Easter blessings to you!


  43. lynnmosher Says:

    Terrie, I so appreciate your visit and comment. Thank you so much. Easter blessings to you!


  44. lynnmosher Says:

    Debra, I'm humbled. Thank you so much for your kind words. Easter blessings to you!


  45. So powerful. It brought me to tears.


  46. Joan Says:

    Oh yes, Lynn. I nailed Him to that cross also.

    Blessings to you this Easter.

    Joan


  47. lynnmosher Says:

    Barbara, thank you so much, dear one. It blesses me to know that it touched you. Makes my heart happy. Easter blessings!


  48. lynnmosher Says:

    Joan, I'm so happy to see you. Thank you so much for dropping by and commenting. So appreciate it. Easter blessings to you!


  49. Heart-wrenching, yet heart warming to read of His love for us - especially through the eyes of a Roman soldier. Beautifully written and such a powerful message this Easter weekend. Thanks Lynn...
    Blessings to you and your family - Happy Resurrection Sunday to you!


  50. S. Etole Says:

    Blessings as you celebrate His resurrection.


  51. Thank you for sharing this Lyn. A new way of look at a story we know very well. What must it have been like for the one who made the hammer. It is a god reminder to us that we have all have a part in putting Jesus on that cross.


  52. Tracy Krauss Says:

    I was just now able to read your wonderful post. How heart wrenching and eloquent and totally fitting for the Easter season


  53. Scott Fields Says:

    I ADORE biblical fiction written from the perspective of the cameo players--not the characters we all know about, but the people who observed all this from the side (and sometimes even took a hand in events themselves). This is a beautiful, vibrant example of the sort of thing I'm talking about.

    Pegg is right. Wethinks you have a knack for this sort of thing. ;-)


  54. lynnmosher Says:

    Oh, my! Somehow I missed the last of these comments. I am so sorry...Deborah, Susan, Adam, and Tracy. Thank you all so much. You have made my heart very happy. And Scott, such a generous comment. You bless me! Blessings to you all!


  55. Traci B Says:

    Sorry I'm late to comment here, Lynn. It's been a crazy few weeks in both happy-making and sad-making ways.

    Your story brought tears of sorrow and gratitude. I've never considered the crucifixion from the perspective of the man with the hammer - the actual man with the actual hammer, that is. I've seen the print "Forgiven" in the Christian bookstore, but it shows a man in modern clothing, representing the fact that we all were responsible for putting Jesus on the cross. To read how the man who had to do the physical deed must have felt - powerful.