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Holes in His hands
Query for the Month
Next up-date: January 1st 2008 (God willing).
Previous "Queries" are available. Click here to access.
Some perpetual questions ....
Is there really an immortal soul?
Do you know the difference
between the "love" that is of Christianity
and the "love" that is of the world? Click here to find out!
Click on the link for a good book on the character of our God which you can download for free and share amongst your friends. It's called "Light on the Dark Side of God" and is one of the best on this subject that I have ever read!
And after eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace be to you”. Then said He to Thomas, “Reach hither your finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither your hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing”.
What was that all about?
Thomas the apostle had expressed a doubt regarding the resurrection of Jesus, and, not having seen Him since the crucifixion, rashly said he would not believe his fellow apostles unless he could see for himself.
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called “Didymus [twin]”, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the LORD”. But he said to them, “Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe”.
Thus it was that on the last ceremonial sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the 21st day of the first month, Jesus came again into the upper room, this time to show Himself to Thomas. See Note 1, Leviticus 23:6-8. We are not told if Thomas did actually touch Jesus to confirm His identity, but it’s not important. The reason Jesus came to him was not for his personal belief, but that others like us might believe just by the word, for “the just [the justified ones] shall live by faith [in God’s word]”. Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Hebrews 10:38.
28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My LORD and my God”.
29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed”.
30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 but these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through His name.
But what’s even more important to notice in our query is the fact that Jesus told Thomas to “thrust” his finger into His wounds. This was a week after the crucifixion! In a normal man we would have expected the wounds to have scarred over by then in the process of healing so “thrusting” wouldn’t have helped in their curing. But Jesus was not a normal man because He was also God, and in His case shouldn’t the wounds have disappeared when He made His new body? We believe that all traces of disease and disfigurement will have gone from the Christians when they are resurrected, so why not His?
It is written, “Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years”. Revelation 20:6. The redeemed are priests and the Son of man is the High Priest: the standard for priesthood was explicitly laid down in the Old Testament – no one could have any blemishes, so how could Jesus still have the wounds in His hands? See note 2. Every sacrificial animal was carefully inspected to make sure that it had no blemish – how could the Lamb of God be damaged? It is written in this fashion in many places, “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: you shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats . . . ” Exodus 12:5.
To answer that problem there is an intriguing passage in one of the Old Testament writings.
1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth [which means that he spoke in a mournful way].
2 O LORD, I have heard Your speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known [please finish Your work]; [but] in wrath remember mercy.
[The answer to his prayer is what follows:]
3 God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. [“Selah” means think prayerfully on what you have just read.]
[When he came] His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise. 4 And His brightness was as the light [of the sun]; He had horns coming out of His hand: and there was the hiding of His power.
Habakkuk had been having a problem with what was happening in his world and so he complained to God that He was not doing enough about it. See note 3. The answer he was given was a description of the second coming, when all problems would be sorted out! He just wasn’t told when that would be!
How do I know that?
Teman was the capital of Edom which was Esau the rejecter’s land –(Jeremiah 49:7). Paran is another name for the wilderness where Ishmael the outlaw lived, which stretched from Kadesh-Barnea to the mountains of Sinai (Genesis 21:21). It was also the place where the Israelites spent most of their time during the exodus.
By His references to these places the Spirit is telling us that the Son of God covered all the world with His light (we are told that He lights every man who has come into the world, John 1:9); that He came from the rejecters to the outlaws, and then on to His own people at Sinai spreading the everlasting gospel, and from there He comes back at the second advent. For it is written, “And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. And he said, ‘The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir [Edom] to them; He shined forth from mount Paran, and He came with ten thousands of saints: from His right hand went a fiery law for them. Yea, He loved the people; [then in an aside to the LORD, he said,] all His [God the Father’s] saints are in Your hand: and they sat down at Your feet; every one shall receive of Your words”. Deuteronomy 33:1-3. [Consider also John 17:6.]
The prophet Enoch had spoken of that event and had also mentioned the ten thousand sanctified ones who were to come with Him. (They were those who had been resurrected at His resurrection, Matthew 27:52-53.) “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, ‘Behold, the LORD comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all [the last generation of rejecters], and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him’.” Jude 1:14-15. The rejecters will choose to die rather than face Him. “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men [etc.] . . . said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?’” Revelation 6:15-17.
From my library:
Said the prophet Isaiah of the special resurrection morning: “Awake and sing, you that dwell in dust: for your dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead”. “Your dead men shall live, together with My dead body shall they arise”. “He will swallow up death in victory; and the LORD God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the LORD has spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, ‘Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation’.” Isaiah 26:19; 25:8, 9.
And Habakkuk, rapt in holy vision, beheld His appearing. “God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise. And His brightness was as the light”. “He stood, and measured the earth: He beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hill did bow: His ways are everlasting”. “You did ride upon Your horses and Your chariots of salvation”. “The mountains saw You, and they trembled . . . the deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high. The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of Your arrows they went, and at the shining of Your glittering spear”. “You went forth for the salvation of Your people, even for salvation with Your anointed”. Habakkuk 3:3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13.
Then Habakkuk wrote something very interesting. He said that in his vision of the second coming he saw that the Son of God had “horns” (symbols of strength) in His hands “and THERE was the HIDING of His power”. Verse 4. The margin alternative reads: “bright beams out of His side”. What he saw were the crucifixion marks!
Therefore, the Son of man not only had those marks a week after the crucifixion, but also some 2,000 years later. They are permanent and fresh, for when John saw Him in a vision in a time just after the second advent, He was described as a LAMB freshly killed. “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain . . .” Revelation 5:6. We can imagine Him saying in the words of the prophet, “Why is My pain perpetual, and My wound incurable, which refuses to be healed?” Jeremiah 15:18.
The answer is in Habakkuk’s words: “There was the hiding of His power”.
For all eternity there will be only one reminder of the effect of sin, and that will not be overly obvious. Hidden in His side, and engraved on His hands are the marks of the suffering He is still enduring for us. This gives added power to His words as recorded by another prophet. “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget you. Behold, I have graven you upon the palms of My hands”. Isaiah 49:15-16. The wounds will always be fresh, although not bleeding, for His is an eternal sacrifice.
Those marks are a picture of what He has done as the Son of God who was “slain from the foundation of the world”. Revelation 13:8. From the beginning He has been taking the “old nature” from individual repentant sinners and giving them in return a portion of His life.
That’s what is written:
3 Know you not [don’t you know], that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?
4 Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted [buried] together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection: 6 knowing this, that our “old man” is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is “dead” is freed from sin.
What has He been doing with the “old man” which He has taken from each penitent one?
That’s what this is all about. He has been taking those “evil natures” and keeping them safe within Himself. But this “kills” Him as it should “kill” us! That’s why He was “slain” at the foundation of the world, and has been ever since. Not until the last sinner who wants to become a Christian does so, can it stop. God cannot “die” as we do, of course, so He is holding the “old natures” within Himself forever. It’s rather like a cancer which is on remission, it’s not cured, but it’s not active either. Because He is the Son of God He can handle it. But He can’t let them go to contaminate anyone else, so He will carry them forever.
That’s what His sacrifice is all about. That’s why the marks are on His hands. He wants us to realise what is happening to Him because that will make the universe secure against sin ever arising again, but He doesn’t want to advertise it too much, for that is not in His character.
From my library:
One reminder alone remains: Our Redeemer will ever bear the marks of His crucifixion. Upon His wounded head, upon His side, His hands and feet, are the only traces of the cruel work that sin has wrought. Says the prophet, beholding Christ in His glory: “He had bright beams coming out of His side: and there was the hiding of His power”. Habakkuk 3:4, margin. That pierced side whence flowed the crimson stream that reconciled man to God – there is the Saviour's glory, there “the hiding of His power”.
“Mighty to save,” through the sacrifice of redemption, He was therefore strong to execute justice upon them that despised God's mercy.
And the tokens of His humiliation are His highest honour; through the eternal ages the wounds of Calvary will show forth His praise and declare His power.
5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD's passover.
6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD: seven days you must eat unleavened bread. 7 In the first day you shall have a holy convocation [a ceremonial rest day after the Passover]: you shall do no servile [ordinary] work therein.
8 But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD [each day for] seven days:
in the seventh day is [also] a holy convocation [another ceremonial sabbath rest day]: you shall do no servile work therein [either]. Back
16 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 17 “Speak to Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of your seed in their generations that has any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God.
18 “For whatsoever man he be that has a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that has a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, 19 or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, 20 or crookbacked, or a dwarf, or that has a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or has his stones broken; 21 no man that has a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he has a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God.
22 “He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy [he is to get his full wages]. 23 Only he shall not go in to the veil, nor come nigh to the altar, because he has a blemish; that he profane not My sanctuaries: for I the LORD do sanctify them”.
24 And Moses told it to Aaron, and to his sons, and to all the children of Israel. Back
1 The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see [about 630BC, and before Daniel’s time and the Babylonian captivity].
2 O LORD, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear! Even cry out to You of violence, and You will not save! 3 Why do You show me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? For spoiling and violence are before [all around] me: and there are [those] that raise up strife and contention. 4 Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment does never go forth: for the wicked does compass about [overcomes] the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceeds.
[This is the answer he got]
5 Behold you among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which you will not believe, though it be told you. 6 For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans [Babylonians], that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs [they’ll sort it out for Me] . . . [Remember Daniel 1:1-2?]
[God was right; Hababkkuk wouldn’t believe it, for he said]
12 Are You not from everlasting, O LORD my God, my Holy One? We [the church people] shall not die [that shouldn’t happen to us]. O LORD, You have ordained them [the rejecters] for judgment; and, O mighty God, You have established them for correction [You can’t use them against us].
13 You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and can not look on iniquity: wherefore [why] look You upon them that deal treacherously, and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours the man that is more righteous than he? [This causes quite a problem for those who do not understand the truth of God’s character, and the aim of the great controversy] . . .
1 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what He will say to me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved . . .
[However, God just told him to be quiet!]
20 But the LORD is in His holy temple [He knows what He is doing]: let all the earth keep silence before Him . . .
16 When I heard [that], my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest [relax in Him] in the day of trouble: when He comes up to the people, He will invade them with His troops.
17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls [no matter what happens]: 18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. 19 The LORD God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds' feet [very quick and light], and He will make me to walk upon my high places. Back
Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated, but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.
Some of the comments on this page are adapted from books in my library. No recognition is given because they are not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my understanding clearly.
Next query. To be discussed from January 1st, 2008.
“You shall not hate your brother in your heart: you shall in any wise rebuke your neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him”.
I believe that if you look at your brother or sister in the church and in your mind think that he or she is doing, or believing, something wrong in Gods sight, and that you would like to stop or correct him or her, then you may one day be quite happy to pull the switch of an electric chair and kill them!
Does this sound too far-fetched?
Yet this is what God tells us is the underlying principle of every act of religious persecution.
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