Listen to this devotional:
Psalm 22:16 – A band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. (NIV)
A bedtime back rub in the hospital used to offer wonderful comfort to soothe aching bones and bring on a sound, refreshing sleep. Some nurses had "the touch" that set them apart. Jesus' hands reached out to touch and heal many suffering various diseases. What were His hands like?
- I touched the hand of Jesus, things are not the same;
I looked into His loving eyes, heard Him call my name.
I felt the peace of Jesus, in sweetness, I did dwell
Serenity all around me draped just like a veil.
I saw the light of Jesus, it burned upon His face;
When storms raged all about me He sheltered me with grace.
I touched the hand of Jesus and things are not the same.
I looked into His loving eyes and heard Him call my name.
- ©2003 Marilyn Ferguson
A stranger's welcoming hand speaks volumes: "I am really glad to meet you. Here, let me help."
Were His hands gentle and firm, strong and quick, loving and comforting?
On my wall, hangs a remarkable picture, a collage of several Passion symbols: a crown of thorns, a torn curtain, a bunch of grapes, and a cross. In the centre is a hand, palm open, reaching out longingly to the viewer. I can't help but visualize the nail being driven in, and I wince.
It's hard to identify with another's extreme pain, pain like none I've ever experienced. The word "excruciating" comes to mind. "Excruciating" means "out of the cross"; it is pain like none other. Lord, forgive us. Did we really put You there? I am told that when a nail is driven into the wrist, it hits a major nerve that sizzles with excruciating pain. "He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities." (Isaiah 53:5 NIV) O Lord, it was our sin that put You there. "Each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:6b NIV)
Have we turned away too?
It's time to ask ourselves: What impact has Jesus' touch on us? What are our hands doing for Him? Are they gentle and strong, forgiving a hurt done? Are they loving and comforting when another is in pain? Are they quick to help someone in need? I see in Christ's hands the offer of great love and forgiveness. Do we feel His touch, forgiving us, loving us? Can our hands offer any less in His name?
Prayer: We open our hearts and our hands to You, O Lord, that You may forgive those deeds we have done that mocked and denied You. Our sin is great. Today, You are beckoning us with Your bleeding hands. We come. Now, as we kneel before You, Lord, in Your great mercy, fill us with Your love, that we may be Your hands of love to another. Who will our hands touch in Your name today, Jesus? Show us, Lord, we pray. Amen.