Causes Me To Tremble (Good Friday Meditation)

The soldiers stretch His arms across the coarse-grained wood. A soldier straddles His chest. Two others straddle His arms. Two others, His legs. They expect a struggle. No struggle comes.

The spiker bends on one knee, the pockets of his leather apron bulging with nails, an iron-headed mallet filling his hand. He places the spike just below Jesus’ wrist. The clank of metal echoes off the stone walls. One sharp rap to penetrate the arm. One more to penetrate the wood. One rap on the other arm. Then another. And the job is done.

Four soldiers lift Jesus’ crossbeam and two steady His feet. Two others hoist it with ropes that run through a groove in the upright timber.  The spikes scrape against the bones in His wrists, and the shifting weight of His body tears the skin and muscles in His arms. But He does not cry out.

A soldier on a ladder steadies the crossbeam into the notch of the upright. As the beams are jostled into position, they rasp the open wounds on Jesus’ back. The pain is excruciating, but the only anesthetic is the gritting of His teeth.

The bored holes in each beam are aligned, and a peg is driven through both to join the timbers. Once the crossbeam is secure, Christ’s right leg is pulled over the left, and the spiker drives a single nail through both feet.

Six hours later, Jesus was dead. To make sure, a soldier takes the point of a spear and counts His ribs.  Between the fifth and sixth rib, he positions the point. With a short thrust, he punctures Jesus’ heart.  A confluence of blood and water streams from the wound.



Jesus was the fairest of ten thousand, the Bright and Morning Star, the song says.

Peter said he went about “doing good.”

Pilate said three times, “I find no fault in this man.”

Hands that never hurt anyone–hands that touched the open wounds of a leper and brought cleansing–hands that touched the blind and brought back sight–hands that had blessed little children were now nailed to a cross.

What kind of sin would do that to Jesus?

Two kinds:  yours and mine.

  • Lies wounded Jesus.
  • Hate wounded Jesus.
  • Greed wounded Jesus.
  • Lust wounded Jesus.
  • Arrogance wounded Jesus.
  • An unforgiving spirit wounded Jesus.
  • Racial prejudice wounded Jesus.
  • Abuse wounded Jesus.
  • Legalism wounded Jesus.
  • Sin wounded Jesus.

Think about who stood around that cross.

The military power structures were there. The political power structures were there. The religious power structures were there. The upper class; the middle class; the lower class, everyone was there on that hill.

It reminds me of that old spiritual,

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

I have to say, “Yes, my hate, my anger, my lust…it was all there on that hill!”

Just like the prophet said hundreds of years before Jesus was hung on that cross:

He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

And as John would record for us these words from the lips of Jesus himself, Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

Amazing love that would not change, no matter what happened!


From the moment the angels sang, ” ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’ “  Satan dogged Jesus’ trail all the way to Calvary and stood at the foot of the cross. There he lied, he ridiculed, he falsely accused–he used rejection, he used betrayal and denial…everything to seduce Jesus to abandon God’s plan. It wouldn’t work.

The demons of hate, jealousy, envy, pride, and self-centeredness got together and said, “We’ll put Him on a cross and let Death have Him.”  I imagine Death on that hill, waiting to get its wraithlike hands on Jesus.  Every time Jesus would speak, Death would reach for Him.

Then Jesus said, “It is finished!”  Death now embraces Him, and Jesus says His last words: “Father, into Your hands I commit my Spirit.”

There on that hill, as the sky grows dark, death takes the body and puts it in a tomb–keeping it there all Friday night…Saturday and Saturday night.

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?


It calls for a response. It demands that I love Jesus with my best. With all that I am. I want to please Him. I want to so live as to bring a smile to the face of my Lord. When I think of the wounds, I want to worship Him. I want to sing, I want to laugh, I want to cry! Somehow, I want to say to Jesus, “I love you!”

One day a little girl was combing her mother’s hair leaned over and said, Momma, you know I love you don’t you?  The mother said, “Yes, I know.”

“Momma, I love to comb your hair with these little strands of gray but so full and so beautiful. I love to comb your hair.  Momma, I just love your voice. Your voice is so sweet. I love to hear you sing. As far back as I can remember your lullabies would gently put me to sleep. I love your voice.

“Momma, I just love lookin’ at your eyes as they sparkle and the dance with delight. I just love lookin’ into your eyes, they mean so much to me.

“But Momma why did you let your hands get so scarred and so rough? Why didn’t you get you some lotion on your hands? Why didn’t you take better care of your hands?”

There was a long moment of silence.

The mother reached around and caught her little daughter’s hands and pulled her around, picked her up and set her on her lap.  And said, “Mary, I’ve got something to tell you; maybe I should have told you this before now.

“What is it, Momma?”  Mary asked.

“Mary, there was a mother who had prayed to God to give her a baby girl. And the Lord answered her prayers. She loved sewing, knitting, and making clothes for her daughter.

“One day while this mother was ironing clothes, she remembered that she needed something from the drug store just down the street. She looked at her daughter asleep in the crib and thought, ‘I’ll ease off to the drug store and get these articles and get back before her nap is over.’

“So, she set her iron down on the ironing board, put her shawl around her shoulders and stepped out into the afternoon sun. She got the things she needed and was making her way back home when a fire truck passed her with its lights flashing and siren blaring. It was a common sound in her part of the city. But when she got to the corner and looked; the fire truck was parked in front of her apartment. And the ladder was reaching up to the third floor—her floor. And smoke was coming out of her window.

“And suddenly, she remembered that when she was ironing and had decided to go to the drug store, she had left the iron turned on. And it was her apartment that was on fire and that her little girl was in there!

“She began to run, and the firemen pulled at her to try to stop her, but she pulled out of her coat and ran up the stairs and opened the door to her apartment. And as she moved across the floor she looked and flames were reaching out to embrace the baby, so she raced over to the crib grabbed her little girl, pulled the baby to her bosom just as the flames of fire were reaching for the little girl, but the fire burned the mother’s hands.

“And, Mary, I want you to know the little girl was you.”

Tears began to roll down Mary’s cheeks. She began to weep and wash those hands with her tears.  She began to kiss them and said, “Oh Momma. Oh, Momma. Oh, Momma. How I love your hands! Because your hands saved me!”

When you look at the wounds of Jesus you remember,

He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”

I don’t know about you, but I love Him.

About Joe Chambers

I am the beloved of the Most High God. I am an avid reader and writer and have been a continuous learner since my college studies in Ancient Literature and English. I live at the base of Mount Princeton in the Colorado Rockies with my wife of over three decades. I believe I have been put here to tell people that God is not mad at them and to show them the way Home. I am the father of three sons, three beautiful daughters-in-law and four grandchildren. I love to read, tell stories, and spend time in the wilderness.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s