By: Debbie Shannon, Center Coordinator
“Jesus…showed them His hands.” (John 20:19-20)
So much healing, so much compassion, so much love was poured out from the gentle hands of Jesus as He walked this earth. Were there ever hands more tender, more embracing? Today, as we recall the horrible pain and suffering that our savior endured out of love for us and to save us from our sin, I ponder the hands of Jesus.
I suspect they were actually calloused and well-used from His time as a carpenter’s son and through the work He did with His disciples. A man of Galilee in Jesus’ time would not have the manicured and sanitary hands of today. But while my heart is often calloused by my own indifference to others, Jesus’ hands would have been hardened by the work of love.
I recall my own grandmother’s hands. In fact, I was privileged years ago to offer the eulogy for her funeral. I noted then that one of my fondest memories was of her hands. Deformed in later years by arthritis, they were calloused from cooking and cleaning, unmanicured as the hard-working wife of a humble auto mechanic, but I loved them. They were the hands that hugged me when I visited, baked special cookies with me and my siblings and played endless hours of card and board games with us on an old, worn dining room table. Beautiful hands! Hands of love. I miss them, and I miss her.
They pierced Jesus’ hands. They drove thick spikes through them maiming His hand into a claw shape. Jesus had no anesthetic to dull the pain. As His own weight hung from them, the tissue would have torn more, releasing more blood. Is there a more helpless image of suffering? What more proof do we need that Jesus understands our pains and suffering?
When Jesus appeared to His disciples after He rose, He showed them His hands. He kept those scars for the remainder of His time here. Our Lord chose to minister after His resurrection with those scars in His hands as a lasting image of wounded humanity. Don’t you wish you could kiss those hands, hands of love, torn for you?
Bring your wounds to Jesus today and let Him make you whole again – body, mind and soul. Let Him make this Good Friday truly good for you.