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In his song “WHO nailed Him there” Ray Boltz writes: ‘I was in the crowd the day that Jesus died … I saw the crown of thorns he wore, the stripes upon his back. And as the water and the blood ran out, then the sky turned black. My mind was filled with anger, my heart was filled with shame. This man brought only healing, who could bring him pain? … Suddenly I found myself, standing at my feet. And I cried “Who nailed him there? This child of peace and mercy? Who nailed him there?  Come and face me like a man. Who nailed him there?” Then the crowd began to mock me. I cried “Oh my God, I just do not understand!” Then I turned and saw the hammer in my hand. “I nailed him there, with my sins and my transgressions!” I cried. “O my God, now I understand!” When I turned and saw the hammer in my hand.

It is good to realize that Jesus died for each one of us personally. To me personally, as if I were standing at the cross and Jesus said to me, “I did this for you. I would do it even if you were the only person on earth.” Then I may understand something of the song “WHO nailed Him there” and see the hammer that struck the nails into Jesus’ hands, in my own hand.

We sing (free translation of the Afrikaans song 389): ‘Is this, is this my King – look there, behold the Man! Is this, is this his crowning – who wished it to be that way? Is this his royal homage – this reed, this robe, this crown? Is this the settlement of my debts, is this how the Son of God is revealed! Yes, I cost Him the blows, the pains and the mockery. For  me He hangs, forsaken and naked, with a crown of thorns. For me those wounds were made, for me He had to stand there; for all my sins He went the way of the cross. O Jesus, Man of Sorrows, O Boundless Love, write deep in all our hearts the word: “Behold the Man!” Oh don’t let me ever forget this crown, this robe, this reed! No greater comfort in suffering – it happened for me as well!

Mozart’s Requiem tells of Jesus’ way of the cross and of the Day of Judgment. It contains the striking sentence: “Remember, merciful Jesus, I am the reason for your journey, do not leave me on that day.”

All we can remind Jesus of at the gate of heaven is, “I am the cause of your suffering and death on the cross. To me You hung there. For me were those wounds and the crown of thorns. There You carried the punishment for my sin in my place so that I can be forgiven and be with You forever. ”

Paul realized what Jesus had done for him personally. That is why he longed to be with Christ. He wrote: I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; (Phil. 1:23).


Thank you Lord Jesus that my salvation is only due to grace. You do not see me for what I really am. You paid for all my sins on the cross. Amen.