By Apolinario Villalobos
It is just a simple piece of iron with a head, and its other end is terrifyingly pointed. It comes in different sizes. Some come in the size of a match stick, some in the size of a barbecue stick, with the biggest that come as big as a thumb. Before, the nail was just made from crudely cast iron, but later, copper and brass were used so it won’t get deteriorated by rust, and today, even stainless steel is used so that it can puncture delicate materials such as thin plywood.
Our ancestors before were contented in securing their homes with fibrous tall grass and vines due to the lightness of materials that they used branches, twigs and grass. But today, due to the use of heavy materials, the nail is very important in putting together the roof, wall, floor and stairs, to come up with a house. Obviously, the nail is among the primary components in providing strength to the whole structure.
Nowadays, the nail is unfortunately being used as one of the components in making improvised bombs, and which extortionists and terrorists use in sowing dread throughout the world. In the Philippines, it is also being used as arrowhead for the “Indian pana” (Indian arrow) which hoodlums in Tondo use against their rival gangs. Still another use of the nail, though unbelievably, is in witchcraft. It is purportedly planted in the guts of victims, who claim to painfully and bloodily eliminate them through bowel movement.
The nail is part of Jesus Christ’s suffering on the cross which Christians believe as His ultimate act in saving mankind from sin. He was nailed on the cross. The nail caused Him pain. The Christian church may have just inadvertently failed to mention the nail every time the saving act of Christ on the cross is mentioned. Without the nail, would His suffering for mankind been completed on the cross? If the cross that He carried is mankind’s sin, the nail is its arrogance, the pain from which penetrated even the last sinew of His muscle!