Nails in His Hands

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Nails in His Hands
Topic Sin
Group Size 1-10
Prep Time 1-2 Hours
Setting Outdoors
Age Group Adults
The Point We each put Jesus on that cross through our actions

Back to Experiential Learning

Supplies Needed

  • A forge, with all needed equipment (hammers, tongs, anvil, swage block, nail making block)
  • A dozen or so small steel or iron bars (1/2 inch round from a hardware store is fine, just not galzanized or stainless).
  • Safety equipment for those forging (eye protection, gloves, and leather apron).

How to Set Up

The main thing here is finding a working forge somewhere. The most basic thing any blacksmith learns is how to make nails, and that is what this is all about. So just get permission from the smith to bring some people over and for him to teach them all how to make nails. This will probably require a small fee but most blacksmiths are more than willing to share their craft. Contact a living history group, Ren fair, or the SCA for information on who is a blacksmith in your area.

There isn't much that you as the leader needs to set up other than the forge and getting people to come. That last bit shouldn't be too hard. Just show a clip from Lord of the Ring or something of people forging and making stuff out of steel and some men should line right up.

What Happens Then

The point is to have people make nails. This sounds a little boring but when you throw in the pounding of the steel, the flames and heat of the forge, and the ability to make something it turns out to be pretty cool. You want them to be making nails as close to Roman crucifixion nails as possible (tapered, about 3 1/2 inches long with a 1/2 inch flat head on top).

When everyone has their nails made, gather together and briefly talk about what crucifixion was. A person drove a nail through both your wrists and one nail through both feet at once (longer nails of course). That's what physically put Jesus up there, but spiritually it was our sins that made him take those nails.

Then you can share that they just built nails that could have killed Christ, without knowing it. We do things to hurt God without knowing it sometimes, but it is enough to put him on that cross.

Being able to hold something that you know you made which could have killed Jesus is very powerful, and being able to carry that with you forever is a great reminder.

Possible Problems

Safety is huge here, you are dealing with several thousand degree heat. No one should be working on this without the supervision of a trained smith. All protective gear should be used. This shouldn't cut into time too much as different people can take turns working on the same anvil as their steel heats up.

I highly recommend that this is an adult activity, or at the very least high school age. Crucifixion Nail.jpg

Other Ideas that use this Topic

How to Fall DownSatan plants seeds of mistrust to take us from God, the cross invites us to trust again.Message Idea
Personal SlaveryOne sin makes us a slave to it, we need freedom from Christ.Message Idea
Victory over Hidden Things in our LivesGod can deliver you from the hidden sin in your life.Message Idea