Below are a few thoughts about the hands of Christ.
Seeing The Hands
Mary gave birth to a son, her firstborn, who was quickly absorbed by her love and warmth. She couldn’t stop gazing at his hands, those tiny hands, that curled sweetly around her fingers. She marveled that the hands of her son were also the hands of God’s Messiah. “How could that be,” she wondered? She knew his hands would one day help his father with the wood and stone; becoming rough and calloused. She knew his hands would one day help his Father in his Temple and Kingdom; becoming kind and caring.
Those hands would cradle infants, bless children and touch lepers. They would comfort the grieving and soothe the broken. They were shepherd’s hands that gathered the lost of Israel. They were healer’s hands that gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf and strength to the lame. They were strong hands that lifted Peter from the stormy waves. They were righteous hands that shredded the money-changer’s tables. They were gentle hands that wiped the tears of Mary and Martha, and then his own.
His gentle hands lightly pushed the branches aside as he walked among the olive trees. In Gethsemane, were his hands raised in joyous praise or lowered to ease his body to the ground? He three times prayed, “Not my will but yours be done.” On a dark, cold night his sweat dripped like blood, were his hands red from wiping his brow? Did he reach out to the angel who came on his behalf?
Then his hands helped him to his feet to face all that was next.
Perhaps he waved the disciples closer as the soldiers grew nearer. Perhaps he offered Judas a hand when he kissed his rabbi’s cheek? Perhaps he grasped the sword Peter used to attack the enemy?
His hands were bound by the hands of criminals. Could there have been a bigger farce than to bind the hands that built the world? Could the soldiers have known that ropes, shackles and chains were useless? Sure, go ahead, clap him in irons, lock the chains and use all the rope you can get. But, it won’t matter. Could atomic sized power ever be contained by a plastic bag?
How could he surrender to those men? Those lesser men impassioned by hate, immune to truth and lacking humility. But surrender he did, for it served their mission well, their mission of murder. Why did he do it? Because he knew who he was and why he was there and what he came to do. And what he came to do requried their violence.
So, see the hands. Rough and calloused from the wood and stone. Scarred and gnarled from the hammered steel and splintered with shards from the old rugged cross.
See the hands that removed the cloth and rolled away the stone. See the hands of Jesus, and be absorbed by his love and warmth.