I am He; I am the first and the last. My own hand laid the foundations of the earth and my right hand spread out the heavens. Isaiah 48:13
Our hands are amazing! They are sensitive and perform all kinds of complex tasks from surgery to playing Bach. And it is with our hands that we express so much of our love for others. I looked up "hands" in the Bible concordance and found numerous entries of how God expressed his love for us by his mighty hand. He even has our name engraved on his palm.
Today, during practice for our Easter performance, I was stricken again about what my Jesus suffered for me on the cross. A young man from our church had the humbling job of reenacting Jesus on the cross. As he hung there, unable to use his hands, I was struck by how much self-comfort we give ourselves through our hands. We rub out aches and wipe away sweat. We use our arms and hands to curl up in when we feel threatened, forsaken, wounded, broken. We dash away our tears and cover our faces with our hands. Our Jesus could do none of these things. He was denied even a small measure of self-comfort. It made me so sad. It made me want to go back in time and climb up to him on the cross and cleanse his bloodied face and back. Suddenly, I could closely identify with the women who rushed at dawn to Jesus' tomb to minister to his body.
During a road trip last week, my daughter and I listened to The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. It was such a pleasure to me to hear the story again with adult ears. After Aslan arose from the dead and showed himself to Susan and Lucy, they had a romp in the young day. Lewis describes a most delirious time of running and leaping and roaring and laughing. As I was listening to this chapter, it occurred to me that Aslan really had a lot to do. The White Witch was at large with her horrible stone-making wand and Aslan was running around in a meadow with children.
Mary Magdalene found Jesus near his tomb and mistook him for a gardener. It made me wonder - just what was he doing? Was he drinking in the fragrance of spring flowers? Was he sitting on a rock and marveling in the sunrise? Did his face glow with that ruddy health that children and people who work outside have - an awareness of the miracle of life? Jesus wasn't running in a panic to his disciples and immediately setting everyone to work. He was communing with his Father in a garden because He had already overcome the world.