The Nails of Calvary – 3/26/17 AM


The Nails of Calvary

John 19:17-19

Intro: Some things require nails. In 1 Chronicles 22:3 we discover that there had to be nails for there to be a house of God at Jerusalem at the time of the building of Solomon’s Temple. These were nails for its doors and gates. There could be no house without nails.

  • And David prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of the gates, and for the joinings;

The description John gives of the print of those nails in John 20:25 (Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails,)  is the same GREEK word as that for ‘form’ (tuposthe mark of a stroke or blow, print) in Rom. 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

The “form of doctrine” that was delivered unto us was a belief system that was “fixed; established; nailed down” at Calvary.


NOTICE – Peter used the same GREEK word that we find in Hebrews 8:2 in his message at Pentecost.

  • Hebrews 8:2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.

GREEK:  prospegnumi  (prospayg-numee)

PITCHED: to make fast, to fix, to fasten together, to build by fastening together

  • Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

The word “crucified” in Acts 2:23 is the same word as “pitched” in Hebrews 8:2.

What the Bible is teaching us is this simple truth – to build His church, God had to fix – establish – nail some things!


I. The Nail in the SignThis was the Proclamation

  • John 19:19 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Pilate was more interested in Jesus as a King than he was in Jesus as the Savior of the world.

Being the prefect of Rome – part of his duties were to minimize and prevent any challenge to the power of Rome.

Pilate’s first question when presented with an opportunity to interrogate the Lord is found in John 18:33:

  • Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?

Several times he tried to get Jesus to declare himself as the King of the Jews.

Jesus acknowledged that he had a kingdom in vs. 36.

Jesus acknowledged that to this end was he born in verse 37.

Apparently this satisfied Pilate’s curiosity.

Pilate wrote a sign – a proclamation to the world in verse 19.

It is hard to know Pilate’s exact frame of mind and his state of emotion when he wrote this sign.

  • Was he being sarcastic in order to humiliate the Jewish religious leaders?
  • Was he relieved at having found and eliminated a potential threat to Rome?
  • Was he embarrassed at his inability to find any fault?
  • Was he sincere in his proclamation?

Notice a few things about this sign he had put on the cross.

NOTE: the Bible doesn’t say it was nailed, but that it was “put.”

I assume it was a nail because they didn’t have staplers and duct tape back then.

The word PUT – means to set, fix establish

A. It’s Diversity (3 languages)

  • 20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.

B. It’s Dispute

  • vs 21 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.

C. It’s Disgrace – the King executed

  • John 19:1-5 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.  Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.  Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man


II. The Nails in the SaviorThis was the Punishment

  • Psalm 22:16 16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

A. It was Undeserved – innocent

  • John 18:38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.
  • John 19: 4 Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.

B. It was Unnecessary

  • John 10:17, 18 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

C. It was Unforgettable

Even with a glorified body, Jesus chose to keep the wounds in his hands and in his side.

  • Zachariah 13:6 And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.
  • John 20:25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
  • Revelation 1:5-7 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.  Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.


III. The Nail in my SinThis was the Pardon

  • Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

A. Notice the What – vs. 13. all trespasses; vs. 14 handwriting of ordinances

BLOTTING OUT: to obliterate, erase, wipe out, blot out

The handwriting of ordinances means handwritten, personal, by one’s own hand.

Our life was one of self-indictments; self-destruction; self-condemnation.

  • John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

B. Notice the Who – it was nailed there by God Himself!

I didn’t nail my sins there. I couldn’t! I wasn’t able!

Satan sure didn’t do it! That is the last thing Satan wanted I assure you!

God did! – Paul called it “the operation of God” in Colossians 2:12

  • It was God who – Raised him from the dead – vs. 12.
  • It was God who – Quickened us together with him – vs. 13
  • It was God who – Forgave us all our trespasses – vs. 13
  • It was God who – Blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us – vs. 14
  • It was God who – Who took it out of the way – vs. 14
  • It was God who – Spoiled principalities and powers – vs. 15
  • It was God who – Made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it! – vs. 15

C. Notice The Where – to his cross

Speaks of finality; speaks of final death.

Our handwriting of ordinances wasn’t placed in a safe somewhere, or in a safety deposit box in Heaven.

God didn’t place a list of my sin in His pocket so He could remind of them from time to time!

Our judgment was completed; our sin debt was bought and paid for at Calvary!

“Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)


SONG – AT CALVARY – written by Isaac Watts in 1707

  1. Alas! and did my Savior bleed And did my Sov’reign die? Would He devote that sacred head For such a worm as I?
  1. Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree!
  1. Well might the sun in darkness hide And shut his glories in, When Christ, the mighty Maker died, For man the creature’s sin.
  1. Thus might I hide my blushing face While His dear cross appears, Dissolve my heart in thankfulness, And melt my eyes to tears.
  1. But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of love I owe: Here, Lord, I give myself away, ’Tis all that I can do.


At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!