A Reed In His Hand

April 12, 2017
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Matthew 27:29 – And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" (NASB)

Until recently, I hadn't given much thought to the reed (or mock sceptre) that was placed in Jesus' hand by His enemies on the day of His execution. But as part of my Lenten devotions, I read an interesting section about the reed in the hand of Jesus from an 1879 book, The Mystery of the Crown of Thorns. I discovered that in light of the passion story, the reed, as well as the spiked crown, were much more significant than I had realized.

By definition, a reed is a tall, slender-leaved plant of the grass family with a hollow, jointed stalk that grows in water or on marshy ground. Although stronger ones were sometimes used for light walking canes, often the Bible speaks of a reed as symbolic of the frailty of our human condition.

Luke 7:24b – What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? (NASB)

Isaiah 42:3 – He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged. (NLT)

One of the gospel writers indicated that this Isaiah passage was fulfilled in Christ. It reveals the Lord's tender heart, caring for a bruised reed such as you or me. Thus, in His hand, a reed is no longer an image of shame and weakness, but of power and grace.

Part of the section from the book that I referred to says the following:

    But since our Blessed Lord took this reed in His hand it has been completely changed; its hollowness has been filled with the solidity of His grace and love. In the hand of our Savior we become firmer and stronger than the cedars of Lebanon. Through faith and confidence in Him we can resist the most violent temptations of Hell and the fiercest storms of human persecutions.

Consequently, a mock sceptre, once an object of ridicule and hate, has now become a beautiful symbol of faith. Therefore, let us contemplate what it means to us personally and how it might renew our hope that God is gently holding us in the palm of His hand.

Prayer: Sovereign Lord, according to Your Word, by Your wounds we are healed. Like a reed that is firmly planted in Your hand, keep us secure in faith and in love. Turn our weakness into strength, our sadness into joy, and our sins into acts of righteousness, for Your name's sake, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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About the author:

Lori Ciccanti <dlalsina@mchsi.com>
Ocean View, Delaware, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Hi Lori. Loved this lesson today.
    God is awesome!

    Dear Lori,
    I have learned something very precious about the reed and I’ve prayed the prayer with you. Thank you and may God richly bless you for sharing this meditation with all of us.

    Your devotional is a true gift on this Holy Week.
    You have brought this Passage of Scripture to my attention in a most beautiful way. I will be reflecting on it throughout my day. Thank you,

    Hi Lori, You always have such interesting devotionals about some of the times and events in the Bible which we read over or don’t think about. Thank you for the informative devotional this morning.

    Dear Lori:
    Thank you for the devotion about the reed in Jesus’ hand. It is something that I have overlooked. Thank you for sharing this powerful message. May God bless you this Easter season and keep you well.

    Hi Lori,
    You (and Lou) always bring an interesting and relevant message. This morning I am preparing for the children’s Sunday School by filling the plastic eggs with significant items connected to the crucifixion and resurrection…one of them is a reed. Now, even more can be told.
    Thank you and Blessings at Easter to you and Lou.

    Thank you, Lori, for your very meaningful devotion today.
    It is good to be reminded each day that we go forward, not in our own strength, but in that of an all-powerful God.
    At this Easter time, we give thanks for the ultimate gift of His Son, Jesus, and His mercy and grace poured out for all His children.
    Blessings to you and yours at this life-changing time of year.

    Great insight Lori.

    Thanks for a very interesting word today Lori!

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful writing.
    Happy Easter and may God Bles you and your family

    Hi Lori
    I had never given the reed much thought either. Thanks for the insight!

    I cannot find the words to tell you how greatly your devotional has blessed me, Lori. Thank you for studying and sharing this precious teaching.

    Hi Lori:
    Beautiful devotional. Thank you
    God is so Good.
    Happy Easter and may God pour His many blessings on you and your family.

    Lori just read your devotional. Isn’t it amazing to see how the prophecies are fulfilled.
    In my study of John this week we discussed the hyssop branch with the sour wine was used to give Jesus (the perfect lamb) a drink on the cross. Symbolic of the hyssop branch use by the Israelites to spread out he unblemished “blood of a lamb” on the door sills to save them from the last plaque in Egypt. How His blood saved us from our sins.
    Heard that you have been suffering with shingles. Praying for healing.
    Keep writing.

    This is so beautiful Lori, just like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    This is a beautiful devotion, a little piece of the Passion that I’ve always overlooked. Thanks for bringing it to life. I always think I’m so strong and independent – never thought of myself as a “bruised reed”! But God knows that I am broken and need the strength of him, and all of the people of his church, to help me through this crazy journey of life.

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