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Give Me Your Hand

In my daily Bible reading, I’ve been noticing
how much is mentioned about the hands
of our Lord. Again and again the Gospels
relate how He reached out to people in their
need and hurt and sorrow. And when He
touched them, they were never the same
again.

His hands healed the sick

After He began His earthly ministry, great
multitudes thronged about Him wherever He
went. Those who were sick, blind, and
lame — even those marked for death with the
curse of leprosy — came to Him seeking to be
healed and made whole.

When the hands of Jesus touched them,
pain and suffering ceased, diseases and
infirmities were cured, and lives shattered and
ruined by sickness were restored.

His hands fed the multitude

It was the hands of Jesus that fed the
multitudes who followed Him out into the desert
place to hear His words. When evening came,
Christ’s disciples urged Him to send the
people away. But Jesus saw their hunger and
weariness and, in compassion, desired to
minister to them.

Taking a few small loaves and fishes —
barely enough for one small boy’s lunch — the
Lord blessed the food. Then His hands began
to break and divide the bread and fish into
portions which He gave to His disciples to
serve.

We’re told that 5,000 men were fed that
day, not counting the women and children.
And when everybody had eaten all they
wanted, there were twelve baskets full of
leftovers! The hands of Jesus not only provided
enough…but plenty to spare.

His hands blessed the children

Loving children as I do, my heart is
touched to read the biblical account of how
the hands of Jesus blessed and comforted the
little children. He specifically told His disciples
not to prevent them from coming to Him.
And in my mind’s eye, I can see the Lord
sitting down and opening His arms to them. As
they eagerly jostled about, perhaps He lifted a
toddler into His lap, shook hands with an older
lad, touched the cheek of a shy little girl. And
as His gentle hands patted little shoulders and
smoothed tousled hair, the Lord blessed these
little ones. Somehow I think they probably
never forgot that day when the hands of Jesus
touched them.

The hands of the Master

No doubt the hands of Jesus were strong
and powerful. Growing up around Joseph’s
carpenter shop, He probably learned to hold
and use various tools to shape and assemble
wood into useful items. His hands knew how
to work.

It was those strong hands that later would
grasp a whip as an indignant Jesus drove the
callous money changers out of the holy halls of
the Temple. Those hands were instruments of
righteousness and justice.

It was those hands that reached out to lift
and save impetuous Peter who, after walking
on the water toward Jesus, took his eyes off
the Lord and began to sink.

There are so many other references to the
hands of Jesus that we could talk about. But
the single most important mention of Christ’s
hands is when they were nailed to the cross.

A very dear, life-long friend gave me a
beautiful wall plaque, which I have hanging in
my kitchen. It says:

   I asked Jesus, “How much do You love me?”

“This much,” He answered, and He stretched out His arms and died.

Greater love hath no man than this, said
Jesus, that a man lay down his life for his
friends
(John 15:13).

And who is Jesus’ friend? The deeply
spiritual and very religious? The learned and
respectable? The proud traditionalists?

No, our Lord said that He was called a
friend of…sinners! (Luke 7:34).

The Apostle Paul reminds us that Christ
died for the ungodly…in that, while we were
yet sinners, Christ died for us
(Romans 5:6,8).

It is strangely and beautifully significant
that the first person to benefit from Christ’s
sacrifice at Calvary was a thief on the cross
next to His! Think of it — the first person to
whom the Lord stretched out His nail-pierced
hands was someone totally unworthy of His
love.

Love-scarred hands

Some time ago my husband, Jack, and I
were guests at a Christian fellowship dinner in
another city. During the meal I got acquainted
and talked with a dear little mother who sat
next to me. After a while, with tears streaming
down her cheeks, she leaned over and
whispered the sad story of a wayward daughter
who had run away from home, mounted up
many debts, and fallen to the very depths of
sin, even into a life of prostitution.

“I pray for her every day,” she said, “and
every time I hear from her I beg her to come
home. My husband doesn’t make a lot of
money, so I got a job to help pay off the debts
our daughter made. I’m doing everything I
know how to do to help her. Please pray with
me.”

When I reached out to take hold of this
precious mother’s hands to comfort her, they
were rough and calloused, scarred by long
hours of hard work, week after month after
year. Those hands were scarred by love…by a
mother’s selfless sacrifice and desperate desire
to reach and save her wayward daughter.

As I held those hands and prayed, I was
reminded of Christ’s nail-scarred hands that
also were pierced for that lost daughter…and
for every lost sinner in the whole world. They
were scarred for me…and for you!

Just as the hands of our Lord ministered to
men and women, boys and girls, wherever He
went during His time on earth, so we today
can feel the touch of His hands in our daily
lives. His power is still available to us today.

In our times of pain and suffering, He is
still the Great Physician who lays His hands
upon us and restores our bodies. Whether our
healing comes through medication, the skill of
a surgeon, or by the power of faith alone, we
know that He is the source of all healing.

When we are hungry and experiencing a
lack of supply — when we’re empty physically,
emotionally, and spiritually — Christ’s hands
will bless and multiply the smallest things we
have to offer Him and make it sufficient to
meet our need…with plenty to spare.

When we’ve tried and failed — when like
Peter, we’re sinking into the depths of trials
and tribulations, with no hope in sight — He
will come to us, walking on the waters of our
stormy sea. His hand will save us, lift us up,
and lead us safely to the solid rock!

The challenge of Easter

I love Spring! There’s something special
about seeing the sun light up winter’s gray
skies, and nature stir the grass and trees into
new life. Surely it is no coincidence that we
celebrate Easter in the springtime.

Each Easter we are reminded that Christ
died for us — but He rose again! Without
Easter, we might be tempted to forget that it
is through the outstretched arms and
nail-pierced hands of Jesus that we have life
eternal. Had it not been for His sacrifice on
Calvary and His bodily resurrection, there
would be no everlasting life.

As we look around us and see all of nature
coming back to life anew, let us be reminded
of Christ’s great love for us.

But let us also be challenged to reach out
in His love into every man’s world with a
helping hand. Let us emulate our Lord’s great
example and use the resurrection power that
flows through us to minister to the needs of
those around us.

Never forget that for many people in the
world, their first glimpse of Christ may be in
you…the only hands that will touch them in
love, that will comfort, lift, and bless them,
may be your hands.

Reach out whenever you can, wherever
you can, to whomever you can. However
unlovely or unworthy the person you find may
be, remember that Christ’s sacrifice is
sufficient…and that He loves that individual just as
much as He loves you.

Do not be afraid to stretch forth your hand
to anybody. For you minister, not in your own
strength and ability, but in His love. So when
you reach out, it will not be just your hand that
touches them, but the hand of God through
you!

I love the beautiful gospel chorus that cries
out —

Oh, to be His hand extended,

Reaching out to the oppressed,

Let me touch Him, let me touch Jesus,

So that others may know and be blessed.

Look around you today and find someone
who is hurting or needy, someone who is in
trouble. Ask God to guide you to someone
who needs Jesus.

When you find them, don’t hesitate or
delay. Go to them with a smile filled with the
light of His love and simply say…

“Give me your hand.”

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