In the Book of Exodus we read about a person who  held up his hands for a full day. The context is  the  battle with Amalek. After sending his people to the battle ground, Moses, accompanied by  Aaron and Hur climbed the top of a  nearby hill. He was holding ‘the staff of God’ in his hand (Ex 17:9). Joshua was given the charge of commander- in-chief.  Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and whenever  he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed’ (Ex 17:11).

But Moses  was a mortal like us. Naturally his hands grew weary. Aaron and Hur smelled trouble the moment they saw Moses lowering his hands.  They  took a stone and put it under Moses, and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; so his hands were steady until the sun set’ (Ex 17:12-13). And in that   decisive battle victory blessed Israelites.

Moses, who held up his hands  for a full day at the age of eighty to save his people from enemies, took leave of them at the age of  hundred and twenty. Before his death,he told them; ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from  among your own people; you shall heed such a prophet’ (Deut. 18:15).

Moses, who once  raised  a serpent of bronze, was prophesying  about Jesus who was to be raised in a cross after another twelve centuries.  We read about his  meeting with Jesus in those days  leading  to  Jesus’ crucifixion. He was accompanied by Elijah and it was  no surprise that their  topic of  discussion was  ‘his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem’ (Lk 9:31).

Like Moses, Jesus also held up his  hand   for his people. As for  Moses, ‘his people’ were the twelve tribes of  Israel. But  for  Jesus, the  whole humankind was ‘his people’. ‘I have other sheep that do not belong to this  fold. I must bring them  also, and they  will listen to my  voice’ (Jn 10:16). The ransom that  Jesus paid for  saving his people was his own blood. The prayer that he  submitted from the cross to  his Father,  with his hands  held up, was for delivering us from evil, the ultimate enemy.

Unlike Moses, Jesus had no one  by his side to support his  hands when they started growing weary.  The mission that Aaron and Hur once accomplished for Moses was done for Jesus by two nails. It was the will of  God the Father that   those  hands  should not  be lowered as long as the battle of mankind against the devil continues. Isaiah writes; ‘Yet it was the will of the Lord to  crush him with pain’ (Isa. 53:10). When we mechanically recite the  Lord’s prayer very often, do we realize that  cross and suffering are  part of His will?

Moses was fortunate that  he had the hope of  getting  some consolation  by sunset. It was a luxury denied to Jesus. Instead, the Father in  heaven sent  a curtain of darkness  to cover the  nailed  hands of  His  beloved son. ‘It was  now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed….’ (Lk 23:44).

It  was the story of Good Friday. At Easter we forget the cross, and  share the joy of  resurrection. But  there is something that  should not  be forgotten; that the  hands of Jesus are still  held up. He still continues his  intercession before the throne of the  Eternal Father on our behalf. He will continue to  hold his hands up until the  last sun sets over our planet. Because his will is that  when the ‘holy city Jerusalem comes down  out of heaven from God with the glory of God and a radiance like a very rare jewel’ (Rev 21: 10-11) all his people should find themselves entitled to enter its portals.

The intercession of Jesus  did not cease  in the cross. After his resurrection and ascension into heaven he continues his mission as the one and only mediator between God and man. This is why Paul  writes about  ‘Christ Jesus  who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the  right hand of  God, who indeed intercedes for us’ (Rom 8:34).

The  Letter to the  Hebrews  explains further. ‘We have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the  Majesty in the heavens’ (Heb. 8:1). The Scripture reminds us of the  unending intercession that   Jesus does in heaven with his hands  raised before the  Father on our behalf  in these words; ‘Consequently he is able  for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to  make intercession for them’ (Heb 7:25). 

Let us praise   Lord Jesus Christ who still  holds his  hands  raised  before the Eternal Father in heaven in intercession for  us poor sinners.

Halleluiah, Halleluiah, Halleluaih