Laid Hands

My Bible reading this morning took me to Gethsemane. Jesus had spent the night in lonely and agonizing prayer while His disciples slept. The Cross loomed. But first, betrayal. “And when [Judas] came, he went up to Him at once and said, ‘Rabbi!’ And he kissed Him. And [the soldiers] laid hands on Him and seized Him” (Mark 14:45,46).

The phrase “laid hands on Him” caught on my breath. A picture blazed in my mind. I thought of the Old Testament priests laying their hands on the sacrificial lamb. This act was prescribed by God and illustrated the need to personally identify ourselves with the sacrifice.

When I first heard and understood the gospel this was the picture that brought me into the kingdom. Overcome by the awareness of my own sin and need, I prayed, “God, I want what Jesus did on the Cross to count for me.” Spiritually, I laid my hands on the Lamb of God.

My mind returns to that scene in Gethsemane. One of the twelve, Judas, leads a band of soldiers, torches blazing, jaws set, weapons in hand, into the darkest of nights. A hole in the membrane of eternal purpose is widening. With silver jangling in his pocket, Judas identifies Jesus with a kiss. And the soldiers “laid hands on Him.” They seize the Lamb that will die as their substitute. The innocent, unblemished sacrifice. The Holy One dying for the unholy. His blood will wash them clean if they will lay hands on Him in faith.


            Not all the blood of beasts,

                                    On Jewish altars slain,

                        Could give the guilty conscience peace,

                                    Or wash away the stain.


                        But Christ, the heavenly Lamb,

                                    Takes all our sins away;

                        A sacrifice of nobler name,

                                    And richer blood than they.


                        My faith would lay her hand

                                    On that dear head of Thine,

                        While like a penitent I stand,

                                    And there confess my sin.


                        My soul looks back, to see

                                    The burdens Thou didst bear,

                        When hanging on the cursed tree,

                                    And hopes her guilt was there.


                        Believing, we rejoice

                                    To see the curse remove;

                        We bless the Lamb with cheerful voice,

                                    And sing His bleeding love.


                        Isaac Watts 1674-1748


4 thoughts on “Laid Hands

  1. Yes, truly beautiful, so touched my heart, we are studying John and are on John 14 this week, So fitting with Easter so near. to reflect on what our Savior went through for my sinful heart to be cleansed and to have life in Him! Thank you dear Jean! Have a blessed Easter.


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