Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Orange Moon Tuesday, January 18, 2021 "His Hands and His Side"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"His Hands and His Side"   


    We will one day see the prints of nails on His hands and feet, and the spear wound near His heart.   

    "We shall see Him as He is… Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when He had so said, He showed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord" (I John 3:2; John 20:19-20).

     What will we experience when first seeing the risen Lord Jesus Christ?  For the disciples, gladness so filled their hearts that their Master still lived, they seemed not to immediately consider what His marred hands, feet, and side represented.  Certainly, we understand their joy.  One wonders if in later times, however, they thought of the wounds and what they meant.  Our Savior's hands bear undeserved nail prints because of what our hands have done.  Wounds mar His feet because of where our feet have traveled.  He bears a pierced side because of our hearts having turned away from the heart of God.  Might Peter, or Mary, or John have thought about this after their Lord returned to Heaven?  We do not know, but it would not be surprising.  Legend has it that upon his martyrdom, Peter requested that he be crucified upside down because he considered himself unworthy to die as had his Lord.

    So, what will be our response when we see the wounds that will abide forever? ("the only imperfections in Heaven," as someone once poignantly suggested).  The Old Testament may suggest a possibility.

    "If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him.  If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself.  And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children, I will not go out free, then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him forever" (Exodus 21:2-6).

    After his prescribed time of service, an indentured servant could go forth in freedom.  However, a caveat - an exception of love - existed in the contract.  If the servant had married, he could not leave with his wife and children.  They must remain with the master. The servant, however, could declare "I will not go out free!" The declaration indentured the servant to his master for a lifetime.  Moreover, a physical token tangibly evidenced the love, the obligation, and the servitude.  The servant would bear a physical wound that confirmed for a lifetime his responsibility to the master, but even more, his sacrifice and devotion to his family.  "I will not go out free!"

   What would the wife of such a servant have felt through the years as she looked upon her husband's scar, seeing the vividly tangible expression of his love for her?  How many would have been the tears?  How sweet, but also painful the emotions? How determined the yearning to respond in gratitude to her husband's sacrifice?   Most of all, how deep, how tender, and how pure would be the love that filled her heart, and her desire to love as she had been loved?  

   Of His beloved bride, the church, the Lord Jesus declares, "I will not go out free!"  At the highest cost to Himself, He redeemed us from our sins and spiritually united His heart with our own.  He bears tangible wounds to confirm and forever seal the union.  "Behold My hands and My feet" (Luke 24:39).  What will we feel and how will we respond when we see with our glorified eyes the most radiant physical evidence of our Lord's glorious goodness as it glimmers from His hands, His feet, His side?  One day we will find out.  And in this day, we can know with certainty that we will… 

"Love Him because He first loved us."
(I John 4:19)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
(Jeremiah 33:3)




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