I tend to be a bit forgetful at times. I’ll walk upstairs to get something but forget what it was when I arrive. I’m only 37 but I swear my short-term memory is fading! The obvious solution for this affliction is to write things down, make lists, or plug it into my iPhone calendar.
Before iCalendars, I went through the post-it note phase. A sea of yellow notes covered my work desk, laptop cover, car dash, kitchen counter and refrigerator. I even flirted briefly with the idea of using different colored notes to organize my life.
Yet, far pre-dating post-it notes is the equally “handy” method: jotting reminders on the inside of the palm of your hand! Ever done this? I know you have.
Don’t be embarrassed. Even God Himself isn’t above this timeless tactic. But what do you think could possibly be so important that even the Creator himself writes it on his hand as a constant reminder?
Can you imagine God plugging reminders into his “palm pilot” calendar (forgive the pun) making sure he doesn’t forget: “Make sunrise tomorrow morning” or “Attend Bob’s funeral service Saturday.” While God may not need reminders for future events, the one thing God does find important enough to never forget is…YOU!
God says, “See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:16).
Take a moment to ponder this truth. What does it mean to have your name written on the hands of Almighty God?
- He knows your name. You are not just a number; not just a face in the crowd.
- He is mindful of you, even though just a speck of sawdust in this vast ocean of a universe.
- The hands that fashioned the universe — galaxies and stars, infinite space, mountains and every creature — also fashioned you in your mother’s womb.
Now, if that doesn’t blow your mind and make you feel infinitely valuable and loved, then this next part should. Fast forward through the Bible, and where again do we find the palms of God revealed?
The same God who created the universe and holds the planets in their orbits, became flesh and came to lay those healing hands on hurting people. Those same palms touched lepers, healed the sick, brought sight to the blind, held children, and broiled fish over a fire on the beach.
Now keep your eyes on those palms. Do you see your name written on them as they break the bread and hold it out to you? “This is my body given for YOU, _[your name]_.” Next you see the last few letters of your name as he passes you the cup and says, “This is my blood poured out for the forgiveness of your sins, __[your name]__.
But our names were never more clearly displayed on God’s loving palms than when they were stretched out on the rugged wood so long ago and raised up on that hill.
When that nail was driven through his palms, they passed right through your name and mine. As he watched the point touch the skin just before the painful blow, he didn’t flinch, close his eyes and look away. He looked at his palms, saw your name written there, whispered a prayer for you, and was thinking about his outrageous love for you as the hammer came down.
And he would take the blow again and again for you if necessary. That’s how much he loves you!
Yes, our names were written on God’s hands from all eternity past, and written at the very place where God would someday willingly be pierced for the sins of each perpetrator named on his palms. That’s how much he loves us!
After Jesus was raised from the dead, one of his friends could not believe the good news. Thomas demanded, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were…I will not believe.” Boy, was he surprised when Jesus suddenly appeared! Jesus didn’t waste any time in meeting Thomas where he was at: “Put your finger here; see my hands…Stop doubting and believe.”
Now, I can hardly imagine what it would be like to look through nail pierced hands, as sunlight shines through the middle of the still fresh wound. But I think Thomas saw two miraculous sights in that fateful moment. First, he saw the hands that were pierced for the sins of the whole world; but what really brought him to his knees in worship was seeing his own name written on those palms scarred out of such unimaginable love for him…for THOMAS.
Perhaps, that’s precisely when “Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Not Lord and God, but my Lord and my God!
As we celebrate Good Friday and Easter this year, its not always enough to say, “God so love the world”; the best news is that God so loved __[your name]__! Look again at the cross this season, then zoom in a bit on those palms, and you’ll see the proof of his personal love for you is written on those nail-pierced, outstretched hands!
He’ll never forget you. He has a regular reminder forever on His palms.
But do you need to write a reminder on your hand these days as a daily reminder?