“It was not the nails that kept the Savior hanging on the cross, it was His love for us.”

art by Paige Payne

The most devastating engineering accident in history happened in Ancient Rome in 27 AD.

A man named Altilius built the Fidenae Amphitheatre for gladiator fights using cheap materials and a poor foundation.

The result? According to the most trusted source, “50,000 men were maimed or crushed to death in that disaster.” 

Ultimately, the structure failed because it could not uphold the weight it carried. 

This tragic event reminds me of Isaiah 41. It is presented like a court case: God vs idols.

Verse 6-7 states, “They helped every one his neighbor, […] saying be of good cheer.

“So the carpenter encourages the gold smith, and he who smoothes with the hammer spurs on gun who strikes the anvil. He says, ‘It is good.’ He nails down the idol so it will not topple.” (NIV translation)

At first glance, this seems like a positive verse. But what they were creating was an idol. What they were encouraging each other towards was wickedness.

It is tempting to find security in false Gods we attempt to nail ourselves to.

But ultimately, like the Roman amphitheater, the foundation and materials will prove insufficient to uphold us.

Their use of “it is good” in their act of creation was a hollow echo of God’s words “it is good” as He created us.

Their nails for stability was a mockery of the nails placed in the Savior’s hands.

We must focus on the only source of true stability—the Savior.

As verse 10 reads, “Fear not, for I am with thee. Be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, ⭐️ I will uphold thee ⭐️ with the right hand of my righteousness.”

As Elder Holland said, “In this and every hour He is, with nail-scarred hands, extending to us grace, holding on to us and encouraging us, refusing to let go.”

He is our sure foundation.

Paid with the ultimate price.

His nails cannot be removed..

The marks still on His hands as a testimony of His sacrifice.

He will uphold us when nothing else can.

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