Pickle Heaven Press-James R. Johnson

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bound to set free — April 10, 2019

bound to set free

Jim Johnson – 654 words

The word “helpless” fits.  We were at the nursing home visiting my grandmother.  Our kids said an obligatory hello to her and then went to wait in the lobby.  There is only so much cheek-pinching a kid can take. 

Time to check on them.  From a distance I saw the boys teasing the caged dove that sat on the coffee table.  I was about to rescue the bird and reprimand my boys, when one of the aged residents shuffled up behind my ten-year-old son K.C. 

He froze, thinking it was my hand on his shoulder – thought he got caught.   But then she uttered words that brought an even greater dread, “I got to go to the pot!”

She grabbed his hand and began to drag him off to the women’s bathroom as she frantically and loudly repeated, “I got to go to the pot.”  “I got to go to the pot.”   She mistook him for an aide.  Her frantic became his, times ten.

I watched from the distance with shock and amusement.  He looked back and saw me as she pulled him forward.  The angst on his face pleaded with me to intervene.   I just couldn’t. It was too, too rich.  (OK so I am not the most compassionate dad.)  Fortunately, she ended up dragging him over to the office where they came to her (and his) rescue. 

Helpless!  That’s what he was feeling.

I wonder if Jesus felt that way?  He was led away to a worse situation.  I was reading again of His last few hours and came across this, “Then Annas sent him, still tied up, to Caiaphas the high priest.”  (John 18:24) -NET Bible®

Jesus was being shuttled to the high priest to face a kangaroo court.  He was escorted by soldiers and His hands were tightly bound with rope to keep Him from grabbing a sword and breaking free.  He wasn’t going to make bail. 

So ridiculous and unnecessary!   He had freely surrendered to the authorities at Gethsemane. And yet His hands were bound. 

Those hands had such a history.  His newborn hands once rested in the soft sheltering hands of His mother.  They were later calloused by the work of a carpenter.  Those hands touched and healed the untouchable skin of a leper.  They were laid on a coffin to bring life to the dead boy within.  Mothers brought their children to be touched by Him and even at Gethsemane He picked up a severed ear from the dirt and restored it to His foe.

But – those hands were now bound up and out of business.

The hands of the priests “slapped Him.”   The hands of Pontius Pilate were washed as if his guilt could be dissolved, but Jesus’ hands were bound. 

We typically use our eyes to look, before we use our hands to grab.  The eyes help a person to see the immediate future and prepare for it.  Now psychologists have found that when our hands are tied, our eyes are also tied.  When we cannot use our hands, our eyes cease to look ahead.   Not true of Jesus.  His hands were bound but His eyes were on the objective before Him.

He chose to ascend Calvary hill.  He then laid down on a rough-hewn beam and stretched out His hands to be pierced with cold steel.  By those hands He was suspended in agony until He finally uttered, “It is finished!” And He died.  

BUT He was not helpless.  This was all according to His plan.  This was a “must” for Him (Matt 16:21-22) and a must for us as well, for it is by His suffering, that we are healed.    

Once raised again, He offered His pierced hands as proof that He was the Son of God and that His redemptive work was complete.

What some might regard as helplessness, He meant as help-for-us.  He was bound to set us free.  

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I enjoy playing hymns on the classical guitar.  Here is a recording of one of my favorites.  O The Deep Deep Love of Jesus.  Enjoy!

O the Deep Deep Love of Jesus. Guitar: Jim Johnson

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