Thursday, May 12, 2016

Young Men, Consider the Hands of Jesus

He lifted up his hands and blessed them
(Luke 24:50,

Like our faces, our hands reveal much to the intelligent observer. How expressive they are – an index to our character and habits. With practiced discipline we can mask our facial expression, but how are we to mask our hands? They tell their own story. They can beckon or repulse. They can caress or kill. They can be inexpressibly tender or diabolically cruel.

What has Scripture to say about the hands of our Lord Jesus Christ? First, that they were human hands (Luke 24:39-40). To the frightened disciples in the upper room, the risen Christ suddenly appeared. Their fears were dispelled when He said to them, “Look at my hands.” The livid nail-marks forever assured them that He was the very same Jesus they had known before His crucifixion.

They were stainless hands. “Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place?” asked the Psalmist. “The one who has clean hands and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:3-4). Christ’s hands were never stained by a single sin. They never performed an action contrary to His Father’s will.

They were calloused hands. “How are such mighty works done by his hands? Is not this the carpenter?” (Mark 6:2-3, ESV). He came to earth as a working man and demonstrated the dignity of honest labour. Jesus sweated at a carpenter’s bench, placing Himself on the level of the labourer.

Then they were sympathetic hands. “He reached out his hand and touched the man” (Mark 1:41). Unafraid of contagion, Jesus gave the amazed leper the touch of human compassion he had been denied for so long.

They were wounded hands. “What are these wounds between your hands?” was the probing question of Zechariah 13:6. The reply: “The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.” How eloquent of love and mercy were the prints of the nails.

Then, too, they were powerful hands. His “hand marked off the heavens” (Isaiah 40:12). The limitless oceans lie as a drop in His palm. They were uplifted in blessing (read Luke 24:50). Our last glimpse of the Master before His ascension is with His powerful hands spread in blessing.

They are protecting hands. “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28). How utterly safe we are!

[Edited, modified and modernized from Consider Him (1976) by J. Oswald Sanders]


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