Monday, April 8 2019
I saw it in an antique store in Cartagena, Colombia – amidst many other pieces of ancient furniture and centuries-old knick-knacks. I almost missed seeing it altogether, because the place was so chock-full of “old stuff” that it was hard to really see anything in particular.
But when I did catch a glimpse of it, it definitely caught my attention. Mainly because of its oddness, its uncomeliness, its so-not-rightness…
It was a crucifix, with a Jesus hanging on the crucifix; but a Jesus with both arms missing.
I suppose that for some people – those who collect antiques for their historical or their monetary value – it was quite a find. I mean, it looked like it was several hundred years old, and probably worth a small fortune.
But for me, for whom the Cross of Jesus Christ means love and forgiveness, salvation and life – that crucifix looked oh-so-wrong!
Because I remembered these words from Isaiah, two rhetorical questions and their obvious answer:
“… Was my arm too short to deliver you?
Do I lack the strength to rescue you?...”
“Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear.”
An arm-less Jesus – or a Jesus with a shortened arm – is impossible!
- in the beginning of time, His arms founded the earth and spread out the heavens
- His arms reach out, and touch, and heal, and restore
- His arms uphold, and provide refuge
- His arms help, and rescue, and deliver, and save
- His arms shatter the enemy and gain the victory
- His arms are full of righteousness and filled with pleasures forevermore
- His arms are strong, mighty, saving, and exalted; His arms are majestic in power
2000+ years ago, His arms willingly stretched out on a cross, and bore nails that crucified Him there – out of a deep and eternal love for you and for me!
Romans 5:8 says: “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
1 John 4:10 says: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
“When asked to describe the width of His love, He stretched one hand to the right and the other to the left and had them nailed in that position so you would know He died loving you.” (Max Lucado: He Chose The Nails)
An armless Jesus hanging on an old cross may be a treasured and valued antique for some – but for me, it’s an image of what is so-not-true! Because my Jesus has arms that embrace me and hold me and comfort me, arms that forgive me and cleanse me and save me, arms that strengthen me and empower me and send me forth to live as He did!
Dear friend: do you know, have you seen and felt the mighty outstretched arms of Jesus in your life? Remember: “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save” you, no matter where you are or what condition you are in today. As He reaches His arms out to you, extend your arms out to Him. He promises that His embrace will change you and transform your life forever.
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