The Hands of Jesus

There’s a painting upon a wall,
Of my Lord, Jesus Christ,
Etched in paints and colors,
Depicting a man of light.
To each the painting means something a little different,
To some a foe a myth,
But to the Christian a Savior and friend.

To many they see his eyes,
Warmed by the love the painter tries to show,
While others they notice his blood,
Horrified by the gruesome death and gore.
Yet others notice his skin,
How it’s not historically correct,
But when I see this painting of Jesus,
I can’t help but to be drawn to his hands.

“His hands?” you may ask,
“How absurd.” And once I would agree,
That was, until one Sunday,
When a sermon changed the way I think.
For the hands of Jesus look just like any man,
Ten digits, lines, and swirled with fingerprints.
But there’s also something different,
As different as different can be,
For our Jesus lived a different life,
One without sin,
And no life of sin, means his hands did no sinful things.

Never did the hands of Christ steal nor took from the needy,
Never bribed an official nor injured any innocent thing.
Never did the hands of Christ dishonor any woman,
Nor did they ever take the life of any other man.

Instead they were always loving, doing loving things:
Always loving when healing blind men and touching lepers–those who were unwanted.
Always loving when embracing sinners or weaving whips of justice,
Always loving, even when nailed to a cross.
For his hands they did bleed,
For the love he held for every human being.

Yet the same can’t be said of my hands,
Guilty of countless acts,
For the hands of Christ are different,
As different as different can be.

That is why I first see his hands,
Whenever I stare at this painting,
Pondering upon the life of my Jesus,
And wondering how much gooder I can be.
Though not for goodness sake,
Nor to earn a prize I can never pay,
But for some day, when I can look down,
And see hands different,
Different as different can be.


* I was inspired to write this poem after reading this passage in Every Man’s Battle

In a newsletter, author and speaker Dr. Gary Rosberg told of seeing a pair of hands that reminded him of the hands of his father, who had gone on to heaven. Gary continued to reminisce about what his father’s hands meant to him. Then he shifted his thoughts to the hands of Jesus, noting this simple truth: “They were hands that never touched a woman with dishonor.”

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