“When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.”
Luke 24:50-53 (NIV)
There was a time back in Isaiah’s day when the people were complaining that God had deserted them and forgotten them. But God reassured them that there was no way he would forget them: “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” (Isaiah 49:14,16) What God is saying here to the Israelites is that just as they had a custom of engraving a picture of the city or the temple on their hands so that they didn’t forget God and his covenant with them, so God can’t forget them—they are precious to him.
Jesus too has something on his hands to remember us by. The scripture tells us that as he ascended, he held out his hands in blessing – hands that retained the evidence of the nails that impaled him to the cross. And you don’t forget what led to being scarred: when my grandson was eleven years old he jumped off a fence at school and on landing his right knee slid over the top of a broken beer bottle buried just beneath the surface of the ground; the jagged glass of the bottle ripped open his knee to the bone, leaving a huge Y-shaped gash. It’s not something he’ll ever forget, because even today, fourteen years later, the scar is there to remind him
We may scrawl telephone numbers or reminders on our hands if we’ve got nothing else to write on and a bit of soap removes them, but Christ’s scars are there for all eternity as he sits at God’s right hand– the clouds couldn’t wash them away as he ascended. Jesus’ hands were without sin, but they were wounded by the sacrifice he made for our sins and are raised every day for our blessing. There may be times when we think God has forgotten us but he has us always in mind. Now that’s something we shouldn’t forget.
Saviour, may we always remember that you live to bless us, as you hold us safe in your marked and loving hands.
Study by Hilary Buck
Grace Communion – Lewes
The Priory School
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