Think about things we have engraved. Gifts of great value, a pocket watch or ring, something silver or gold, very costly and sentimental. There are bracelets with names on them, necklaces. I have seen them with names of states. Friendship gifts, jewelry boxes, tea sets with last names or initials. Wedding gifts, glasses, picture frames, and even writing instuments like a gold pen. Something that sets it apart and makes it special. It might say twenty five years of service, for a job well done or fifty years of marriage. Even a special Christamas ornament, baby’s first Christmas or maybe a newlywed one, the grandchildren’s names. You get the idea.
Now, let’s look at this verse…Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. Isaiah 49:16. Isn’t that something? Though God is talking about Israel or Zion and the walls, which can also be inscribed. He has not forgotten His people, no matter their difficulties or trials. They are engraved on the palm of His hands, every time He sees His hands He sees Jerusalem, He sees Calvary, He sees us.
How are things inscribed or engraved, with fine tools, maybe a diamond tip, like a jeweler will cut a diamond with a chisel, executing a split to perfection. Clear and clean, flawless. the silversmith or goldsmith is the same using delcate and deliberate font, it is precise, every swirl of calligraphy. Beautiful. A master craftsman.
Now, look at God’s only Son, a Roman soldier with the swing of a blacksmith, draws back a hammer. He drives the nail that is more like a spike for a railroad. Blow after blow, until it rips the flesh of the Saviour, nailing Him to the cross in our place. He executes the Lord, a split to perfection.
I have had my hands slammed into doors but nothing compares to this. It pierces through His wrists at the base of the palm, for the center would not hold the weight of a man, it would just tear off. Read about Roman crucifixions, watch the medical examiners account. Jesus suffered more than anyone to save everyone if they could believe, but sadly many won’t, and sometimes we that do focus on the cross.
But instead of that, although we should always remember, we should see Him risen, sitting at the right hand of the Father who sent Him. Every time a prayer goes up and angels place them where they go up as sweet incense, He may be waving them to go do some duty. He sees the inscription. Every time He makes intercession or atonement in the Holy of Holies, of Heaven, He sees His the inscription. Like the letter sheen of the Hebrew alphabet, that has the shape of a hand and can be seen from high above etched into the landscape of Israel, He sees His hands, and He sees us.
If He had that much power in them before the cross, should He have even more now? If He was willing to heal and deliver and send demons over cliffs and into outer darkness then, isn’t He now. He hasn’t changed, Have we? Today, as you drink your coffee and answer the phone, look at you wrists. If you have a ring or neclace a treasure look at the engraving. Remember today, that you are forever engraved upon His palm and He values you. It was not a master craftsman that took care to make it a thing of beauty, but a master butcher that carved into flesh and bones with unimaginable burning and pain, that engraved us there.
Not clean nor clear then but now. He set us apart and made us special. And still it became a thing of beauty…His palms, risen, resting. He was finished. Rebecca Jones