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Max Lucado: He Chose the Nails
He Chose the Nails: What God Did to Win Your Heart

By Max Lucado
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"He Chose The Nails" by Max Lucado

By The 700 Club - Pat Robertson: On the back cover of his latest book, "He Chose the Nails," award-winning author, Max Lucado, paints a powerful picture of Christ's crucifixion with these words: `Linger on the hill of Calvary, rub a finger on the timber and press the nail into your hand. Taste the tinge of cheap wine and feel the scrape of a thorn on your brow. Touch the velvet dirt moist with the blood of God. Allow the tools of torture to tell their story.' What a book, "He Chose the Nails." Prolific award-winning author, Max Lucado. So good to have you with us.

Max Lucado: Thank you very much.

Pat Robertson: God, bless you.

Max Lucado: Thank you. It's a great privilege.

Pat Robertson: You are one of the most prolific authors. I think it is 30 books, including children's books. And God just almost gives you the gift of a poet; the words that you write are just so eloquent...

Max Lucado: Thank you very much.

Pat Robertson: It's almost like blank verse. How did that come about? I mean, is that just something God just laid on you or did you grow up in a literary family?

Max Lucado: Well, I've always loved words. I really have. But I never aspired to be a writer. But I was a missionary for five years in Brazil. And the first year that we were in Brazil, I would use my evenings to work in English, because we were studying Portuguese all day and I wanted to do something different. And so I began journaling some thoughts. Somebody said, why don't you try to get those published? I did and I mailed a manuscript to 15 publishers and the 15th one said yes. And that was 16 or 17 years ago and it's still going today.

Pat Robertson: Are you pastoring at all ?

Max Lucado: I am. I'm a full-time at the Oak Hills Church of Christ in San Antonio, Texas.

Pat Robertson: Fabulous. Well, listen, this new book is a different look at the crucifixion. Why did you choose these, quote, "implements of torture," to write a book?

Max Lucado: It is different. It is. I've not found anything like this. It may be out there, but what I did is I looked at each of the different, I call them inanimate objects of the cross...

Pat Robertson: Right.

Max Lucado: the nails and the crown of thorns, the cross itself, the path to the cross, because it occurred to me that, you know, if you or I knew we just had one day to live, we're going to be very deliberate about that day. We're going to select who we talk to. We're going to select where we are, everything about that day is going to be orchestrated. How much more would God orchestrate his final day on Earth? And so everything about that day has symbolism and significance. And so I just went in looking at all of the different props of the passion, so to speak saying, what do the nails have to say to us? What about the crown of thorns? I was just stunned at the symbolism.

Pat Robertson: Tell us, for instance, take the nails, take the crown of thorns. What symbolism did you find?

Max Lucado: Well, I learned, for example, about the nails. One of the curious things about the nails is that it's Paul who explains the purpose of the nails to us. The gospels don't refer to the nails but Paul in the Epistle Colossians 2:14 says that Jesus canceled the debt that held the charges against us. He took it and nailed it to Christ's cross. And so the picture there, you know, Pat, is so powerful. The list of my sins and your sins...

Pat Robertson: Yes. Yes.

Max Lucado: ...has been nailed to the cross and the blood of Christ has blotted out, the Bible says, covered all of those mistakes. What a powerful image that is.

Pat Robertson: That's tremendous. And he made a show of them. It's almost like he laughed at the devil, saying, 'I'm taking you to the wall.'

Max Lucado: He did. He did. That's right. That's right. That's right.

Pat Robertson: Well, what about the crown of thorns? What did you find there?

Max Lucado: Well, when you imagine the crown that Christ gave up and the crown that he took on, he went from the crown of glory where the angels were worshipping him to the crown of mockery where the soldiers were spitting on him. What a powerful portrayal of the descent of how far he went from heaven. Not just to Earth, but to the lowest part of the Earth, where he would even be spat upon by men, which is another symbol of the cross. I'd never thought about the spit. Pilate told the soldiers to say whip Jesus. He never told the soldiers to spit on him. That just came out of the evil. If you want to hurt somebody's heart, you spit on them. And so Christ carried that evil of the soldiers all the way to the cross. Never did he wipe it off. He took our evil to the cross with him.

Pat Robertson: It's almost the ultimate despising of God.

Max Lucado: It is.

Pat Robertson: Isn't it? It's a sign of, `You're despicable. I spit on you.'

Max Lucado: It really is. It really is. Can you imagine that he could have boomeranged that spit back in their face.

Pat Robertson: Sure, sure.

Max Lucado: But he did that for us to show us how much he cared.

Pat Robertson: The blood in the dirt, what did you find there?

Max Lucado: Well, I was really struck by the symbolism of when Christ's side was pierced with the sword, blood and water came forth.

Pat Robertson: Right.

Max Lucado: And, you know, throughout the New Testament, water represents the power of the Holy Spirit and the blood represents, of course, the redemption that we have. And they came together...

Pat Robertson: Yes.

Max Lucado: know, as a picture, what God wants to give you and give me, and that is forgiveness and power. But not just forgiveness with no power. Not power with no forgiveness, but they come at the same time. He gives us forgiveness and power.

Pat Robertson: Ladies and gentlemen, we've got a special with Max on the 13th of April, Good Friday.

Max Lucado: It's the "He Chose the Nails," television special. It's Jesus, Pat, from beginning to end. It's all about Christ and some powerful music, some heart-changing music. Some of the best artists in America like Twila Paris and Wes King. Some of them have written songs to go along with this. It presents the cross of Christ from beginning to end.

Pat Robertson: Max Lucado, this is a study book for leaders and the book itself, "He Chose the Nails." You've got a video; you've got a whole book in here for study guides, and a CD.

Max Lucado: Exactly. It's set up for home Bible study groups or Sunday school classes. We did special video segments that people can look and watch together and then open the book and study it together. And I hope it encourages people to think about the cross.

Pat Robertson: It sounds as moving as anything you can imagine, ladies and gentlemen. As we come closer to Easter and Good Friday, the suffering of the passion of Jesus, what a marvelous way to get a fresh understanding through the eyes of Max Lucado. It's published by Word Publishing. Max, it's a joy to have you.

Max Lucado: Well, thank you.

Pat Robertson: We just thank God for the gift he's given you, my brother.

Max Lucado: Well, I thank God for you. I sure do.

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