Luke 24:38-39a – He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see." (NIV)
A few weeks ago, the teacher of our teenaged Sunday School class asked me if I would come to their class that morning — just after they had taken the attendance. The whole thing sounded a little strange, but she told me that I wouldn't have to say or do anything, so I agreed.
When the time came to go in, I was introduced as the "mystery guest". I was ushered to the front of the room and then provided a stool on which to sit. As I looked around the room, I saw 7 or 8 students, and noticed that one of them, a girl named Cheryl, was wearing a blindfold.
As I sat quietly, the teacher explained that Cheryl was to try to identify the mystery guest — simply by the use of her touch. After being led to the front of the room, Cheryl began to rub her hands all over my face and hair. I'm not sure how long she rubbed, but it sure seemed like a long, long time. When asked to identify the mystery guest, Cheryl didn't have a clue. In fact, the only success she had was in totally messing up my hair. I had stumped her!
Afterwards, I wondered if I would even have been able to identify myself. I have a receding hairline. I have an ever-enlarging bald spot. My daughters tell me that my ears are big. My wife tells me that I have several "beauty marks" on my face and neck. But placed under the pressure of the moment, I'm not sure I would have done any better than Cheryl.
And what if Jesus Christ were the "mystery guest", and we were blindfolded? Would we be able to identify Him? If we touched His head and felt the scars and scabs that had come from the crown of thorns, would that help us to identify Him? If we touched His back and felt the raw flesh that had been ripped open by the scourging, would that help us? If we touched His side and felt the hole that had been left by the soldier's spear, would that help us? Or if we touched His hands or His feet, or placed our fingers into the nail prints, would that make His identify known to us?
Certainly we'd recognize Jesus! Wouldn't we?
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, help us truly to know your Son. Help us to know Him with all of our senses. But most of all, help us truly to know Him in our hearts. We ask all things in the name of Jesus. Amen.