I hold in my hands a feather and a nail. The nail is cold and heavy. I can feel the point pressing against my palm. It is man made. Strong, a tool. The feather on the other hand feels weightless. I can barely feel it in my hand. I’m more aware of it’s softness than its weight. It is wispy, pretty and frail looking.
Both these items are to me symbols of Easter. The nail is the more obvious one. They were used to hang Jesus on the cross. It’s a common picture. And to this day it still jolts me with the reality of what Jesus endured. A nail through human flesh to a cross. I hold it and recall the song “Do you still feel the nails” and my heart feels the pain of knowing that my sin, my failings caused those nails to drive through His hands and feet.
The symbol of the feather is more elusive. For me, as I hold the feather, it places me alongside Peter, warming my hands to the fire and then hearing the sound of the rooster crowing. The conviction feels raw. And while I did not deny Jesus in that hour, I am reminded of the times I deny Him access to my life. Times when I have heard Him prompting me to speak up and share my testimony, to pray for others even, and I have ignored Him. I have denied His name in my determination to follow my schedule. I have denied Him to protect myself from embarrassment or ridicule. And as light as the feather feels in my hand, so trite do my excuses seems in the face of the sacrifice that Jesus made for me.
The feather and the nail. They remind me of my guilt. Yet they also remind me of the amazing grace, love and forgiveness that Jesus has given me. For while He was denied by friends and nailed to the Cross, He also rose triumphant from the grave, from death. He was and is victorious.
I hold the feather and the nail in my hand and my heart sings He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus Lives today!