Twice I’ve had the chance to see Christian comedian Tim Hawkins on stage. He has a spectacular bit about “hand-raising in church.” As only he can, Tim describes the many styles of worship including “carry the TV,” “hold my baby,” “my fish was this big,” “Mufasa,” and “Goalposts.” It’s pretty funny and well worth your two and a half minutes on YouTube.
Changing gears here…
Not long ago during a worship service, I looked down at my own hands and they were — as pictured above — honoring the nails that pierced the hands of Jesus. It was a bit of a shock. But it felt exactly right.
Thinking about it since then, a favorite verse keeps coming to mind. Isaiah 53:5, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
To me that verse is hugely powerful for two reasons. The dramatic imagery of Jesus taking the brutal punishment for our sins. And the clear prophecy knowing that Isaiah wrote those words 700 years before Jesus walked the earth.
So here are two takeaways for you today: (1) If you have a chance, go see Tim Hawkins. (2) Next time you find yourself in authentic worship, imagine a nail piercing the palm of Jesus’ hand. That physical gesture may serve to remind you that it was your sin and mine that put him on that cross.
Not surprisingly, another verse comes to mind here. John 20:27, “Then Jesus said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’”