"Your hand, O Lord, in days of old Was strong to heal and save; It triumphed over ills and death, O'er darkness and the grave. To You they came, the blind, the mute, The palsied and the lame, The lepers in their misery, The sick with fevered frame.
"O be our great Deliv'rer still, The Lord of life and death; Restore and quicken, soothe and bless, With Your life-giving breath. To hands that work and eyes that see, Give wisdom's healing pow'r, That whole and sick and weak and strong May praise You evermore."
Our hymn is a catalog of Jesus' miracles, of His compassionate heart and hands that were "strong to heal and save." Jesus healed the blind, the deaf and mute, the lepers and the lame.
The prophet Isaiah foretold that when the Messiah came, "the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped" (Isaiah 35:5). Jesus' miracles proved He was who He claimed to be-the promised Messiah of Israel. Jesus told those who rejected Him, "Even though you do not believe Me, believe the works" (John 10:38b). At Pentecost, Peter told the crowds that Jesus of Nazareth was "a Man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through Him in your midst" (Acts 2:22b).
Fulfilling all that was written of Him in the Scriptures, the Messiah was betrayed, tried, and condemned. According to God's purpose, Jesus was nailed to a cross, offered up as the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world. Filled with fear and despair, Jesus' disciples hid behind locked doors. Their Lord had overcome "darkness and the grave" for others, but now the miracle-working Messiah lay dead and buried, sealed in a tomb. Then on the first Easter morning, Jesus rose from the dead, the great miracle by which He "was declared to be the Son of God in power" (Romans 1:4a). The nail-pierced hands that "in days of old" were "strong to heal and save" are still strong to heal and save today. Jesus is "our great Deliverer" and stands always ready to "restore and quicken, soothe and bless."
United to Jesus' death and resurrection through Baptism, we are members of His body, the church. Our "hands that work and eyes that see" are His hands and eyes in the world. With love and compassion, we restore and soothe and bless others in Jesus' Name. Through the miracles of help and healing all around us (although we often explain many of these in terms of science), the Lord is still at work. Through the proclamation of the Gospel, the Spirit of the Lord is present to heal and save. We pray that "whole and sick and weak and strong" will join us in praising our risen and glorified Lord, now and evermore.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, let our hands and eyes be Your hands and eyes in the world. Work through us to heal and save, so that others will come to know and worship You as Lord. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "Your Hand, O Lord, in Days of Old," which is found on page 846 of the Lutheran Service Book.
1. Do you have a favorite miracle or supernatural event from Jesus' ministry? Why?
2. How do you think you would have reacted to witnessing one of Jesus' miracles?
3. Does God perform miracles today? Can you give an example?
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