“How are such mighty works done by his hands?” (Mark 6:2)

His calloused hands – accustomed to hammer and nails, splinters of wood and planks of lumber – carted carpentry tools long before they healed a child, touched a leper, or broke bread to nourish a crowd. The carpenter from Nazareth who created the world from nothing would one day be stretched out on a crude wooden beam for men’s salvation. But first, he handled and marked his world with enormous touches of love.

His voice spoke the earth into existence as his words alone cast galaxies abroad, all of it good. But, when he rubbed shoulders with humanity, when his eyes beheld the wounded and the lame, his hands reached out to transform what was not good at all.

Though the disciples adamantly disagreed, Jesus leaned forward to hold the babies. “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them,” he cried. The busy Master, with pressure mounting on all sides, took time to touch the little ones brought to him. He embraced them and blessed them, because they were significant in his eyes (Mark 10:13-­‐16). He expelled evil spirits from a young boy whose father had come begging for deliverance. After the spirits departed, the boy lay like a corpse. “But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose” (Mark 9:27). Taking, lifting, rising; evil was made to flee before the force of God.

When he arrived in Bethsaida, a blind man’s friends implored Jesus to heal him. The Gospel declares that he took the man by the hand, walked him outside the village, moistened his eyes with saliva, and “laid his hands on him.”94 When Christ placed his fingers on the blinded eyes a second time, “his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly” (Mark 8:23,35).

Those same hands would later lift the cup of the new covenant, would clutch the ground in Gethsemane, and would haul the cross to Calvary. Those hands still wait to bring us aid, soothe our grief, strengthen our weakness, and fill up our gaping holes.

Our hand in his…his hands on us. Hold us, dear Savior, broken and splintered though we are.

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