The Hands Tell it All
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I've got to confess that sometimes my attention wanders a little when I'm listening to someone speak in a public meeting. I'm sure someone who's been in a meeting where I was the speaker is saying right now, "Oh, that's pretty funny. That's what happened when I heard you speak." One of the things that's almost sure to divert my attention is someone who is providing sign language interpretation of that talk for the deaf. There is something really beautiful and thought-provoking about the visual representations of words that I've heard many times. In fact, the signing version of certain words can give even deeper meaning to them. Well, with one word in particular.
I love the way that our deaf friends say the name of Jesus. The signer takes one finger and puts it into the palm of the other hand, and then puts a finger into the other palm. It's clearly a symbol of what might well be the most identifying characteristics of Jesus if you met Him today - the nail prints in His hands. In a sense, His hands tell it all. His hands bring home the central issue you and I have to deal with when it comes to Jesus. The thing God considers decisive in where we will spend eternity.
Many people have a fondness for Jesus. He is the one person revered by most of the great religions of the world. Many people are aware of the awful death Jesus died on the cross. You may be one of millions who celebrate Jesus' death in the sacraments or the ceremonies of your church. That's all good, just not enough.
That's what one of Jesus' closest associates discovered after Jesus' resurrection that first Easter. Thomas, one of Jesus' twelve disciples, had not been in the room when the other disciples were visited in person by their risen Master. Thomas didn't buy it. In John 20, beginning with verse 25, our word for today from the Word of God, Thomas says: "Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe it." Thomas had been with Jesus for three years, he'd heard every sermon, he'd seen every miracle. But like many who've been around Jesus for years, Thomas had never yet really committed himself to Him.
But the following week, Thomas was there when Jesus appeared again to His friends. The Bible says, "Then He said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.' Thomas said to Him, 'My Lord and my God.'" That little two-letter word is the difference between knowing about Jesus and knowing Jesus, between an eternity in heaven and an eternity in hell. It's the word "my." Jesus may have been a Lord, or even the Lord, to you. But you've never made Him your Lord and your God, and that could happen this very day. If you'll put yourself in the Good Friday picture and walk up Skull Hill to the foot of that cross where God's Son is dying to pay for your sin and you say those two words that change everything, "For me. You died here for me."
If you've never welcomed the Savior as your Savior, don't stop one step short of being forgiven; one step short of heaven. Like Thomas after that first Easter, let those wounds, suffered for you, finally capture your heart. Bow before Jesus and tell Him, "Beginning today, you are my Lord, you're my Savior from my sin. I'm placing all my trust in you." This can be the day you actually begin your personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We've got some help at our website. A lot of people have gone there and found out how to be sure you belong to Him; that you've been forgiven by Him. Let me urge you to go there today. It's YoursForLife.net. Or I'd be happy to send you the little booklet that's got the same information in it. I wrote it and want to send it to you if you'll just call toll free at 877-741-1200.
Jesus wants to be with you every remaining day of your life. And He wants you to be with Him forever. Could you reach out to Him today? And when you've taken your last breath, you'll meet Him at last. And you'll know Him when you see Him by the print of the nails in His hands.
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