Behold My Hands

Behold My Hands

“Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing.”John 20:27

Some years ago a solo by a young man deeply impressed me; the words of the refrain still linger in my memory:

“Wonderful hands! Hands of the Saviour!
Hands that were wounded for me,
Hands that were used in blessing on others,
Hands that will ever keep me.”

The present meditation results from the pleasure and the blessing of that occasion.

The post-resurrection scenes in the life of our beloved Lord, convey assurances to us of the care the Great Shepherd of the sheep expends upon His own. The disciples who were present on the first occasion of the Lord’s appearances after His resurrection said to Thomas, “We have seen the Lord.” Thomas vowed that he would not believe their story unless he could see Christ with the print of the nails in His hands. A few days later the Lord appeared again in their midst, and met the unbelief of Thomas, saying, “Behold My hands.” The sight of those hands dispelled the doubts and unbelief that had possessed the mind of that disciple, and confirmed his faith in the resurrection. As Thomas saw the wound marks in His hands, he cried, “My Lord and My God.” This, his confession, expresses the highest form of worship, the giving to Christ the supreme place in the heart.

There are those who believe that a person’s character may be known by the features of his hands. Certainly the character of Christ is manifest in His hands. We observe His Saving Character in the firm touch upon those He healed of disease. The blind man received his sight by the touch of His hand (Mark 8:23); the dumb man’s tongue was loosed by the same touch of power {Mark 9:27) ; and the dead damsel was quickened into life as He took her by the hand and spoke the word of command (Mark 5:41). In response to the despairing cry of sinking Peter which reached the Saviour’s heart, the hand of Jesus reached His distressed disciple, saved and strengthened him, and enabled him to walk upon the waves. The hand of Jesus was a human hand, and yet it was the hand of the Mighty God. His Sympathetic Character is also expressed by the delicate touch of His hand. He could have healed without the touch, but He shewed His sympathy with the sufferer in the gentle touch of His hand.

The hands of the Lord Jesus are:

Pierced Hands

“They pierced My hands and My feet” (Psalm 22:16). His pierced hands assure us of the authenticity of the inspired Word of God. How accurately the Psalmist describes the cross-work of Christ. When we remember that stoning to death was the method of execution known to David, it is wonderful that he, by prophecy, so carefully described the crucifixion of the Lord. How amazing that a heathen power, Rome, should fulfil the predicted purposes of God!

His wounded hands are a reminder of His claims upon us. When Thomas saw them, he confessed Christ as His own Lord. His nail-pierced hands were the visible proof and the confirmation of His love that day to the doubting disciple. A quiet little girl gazing into the features of her mother, said, “Mother, I do love your face, and I do love your eyes, but Mother, I do not like your hands.” The hands were dreadfully scarred. The mother then told her a lovely story. There was a house on fire with a baby girl asleep upstairs; a young mother rushed up the flaming stairs; saved her child, and rushed down again to safety, but her hands were terribly burned. When the story was finished, the mother, with a hug and a kiss, said, “Darling, that little baby girl was you, and that mother, was I.” Just for a moment the little girl sat silent, and then, with an adoring look at her mother, she exclaimed, “Mother, I love your hands best of all!” Those hands were the evidence of the sacrificial love of a mother. Christ endured the wounds in His hands because of infinite love for us; He was crucified to save us from sin and death. Wonderful hands!

Pleading Hands

“Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands” (Isa. 49:16).

As He pleads for us in our weaknesses, our Advocate keeps us in perpetual rememberance. Our names are graven upon His hands, so that it can be said of each, not one of them is forgotten before God. Even though we may forget Him, He will not forget us, therefore, we can sing most heartily:

“My name from the palms of His hands
Eternity will not erase;
Impressed on His heart it remains,
In marks of indelible grace.”

Providing Hands

“Thou openest Thine hand and satisfiest the desire of every living thing” (Psalm 145:16). Remember, dear believer, there is no need too great that God in His infinite goodness will not meet, and there is no need too small that His loving heart will not provide. The little girl when told that God measures the waters in the hollow of His hand (Isa. 40), after a thoughtful silence, exclaimed, “My, but God must have a big hand!” The ability of God to provide is so great that man and beast are dependent on His care, a care expressed with infinite ease. The little boy who helped the vendor gather up the fruit when his wagon upset, when told to take a handful of cherries as a recompense for his trouble, said to the big man, “I would rather that you give them to me.” The fruit sellers hand was so big, that it filled both the hands of the young lad. The Lord’s hand is bigger than all our puny needs; may we therefore, have grace to let Him provide. In the feeding of the hungry multitude, the Lord opened His hand and all were satisfied.

Protecting Hands

“His left hand is under my head, and His right hand cloth embrace me” (Song of Solomon 2:6). The picture here is that of a bridegroom supporting his bride when she is faint and sick. In the Song the bride was so overcome with love that she needed the strengthening arms of the bridegroom to protect her. We bless our Divine Bridegroom for His strengthening hands that support us when ready to faint by the way. Underneath and around us are the everlasting arms (Deut. 33:27). Trials and sorrows may beset us, but we are ever in the embrace of His all-powerful arms.

“Rise my soul; thy God directs thee;
Stranger hands no more impede;
Pass thou on; His hands protect thee,
Strength that has the captive freed.”

Priestly Hands

Israel’s high priest, having made atonement, lifted up his hands and blessed the people, a lovely foreshadowing of the scene in this passage. Christ, having finished the work of redemption, lifted His hands over His own in priestly benediction, and thus ascended into heaven. This attitude of blessing indicates the present ministry of Christ for His Church. He had richly blessed the “little flock” while He was with them, and the gracious character of His departure, assure them of continued blessing during His absence. His uplifted hands, as He pronounces His benediction upon His saints, should comfort us with the thought of His favour upon us. We can count on His protection and guidance in the dangers, trials, and conflicts, which may meet us in this sinful and miserable world. His hands remind us of His all-sufficient and perpetual ministry toward His sheep.

“Wonderful Hands! Hands of the Saviour
Wounded on Calvary’s tree;
Hands now in high-priestly service
Still with the nail prints for me.”