You Are My Hands and My Feet

It has been suggested that the most compelling evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, not the only evidence, but the most compelling, that which would be most likely to convince others of the essential truth of our creed, is the visible functioning of the living Christ in and through us.

After Jesus rose from the dead, it was not business as usual. Everything had altered. In each of his encounters with former associates he was clearly with them but not immediately recognizable. The real significance of the resurrection is that Jesus, truly, not metaphorically but truly, lives on. His bodily resurrection and the empty tomb are but signs of this. Signs which he himself foretold. "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up!" What these signs signify is that Jesus is. He is as present as he was when he climbed Calvary. What has changed and what is unique is his mode of presence and that is what those mysterious post-resurrection encounters were all about; they were to demonstrate that he was more than a memory, that he had defeated death; and that he was still part of the local scene, though in a very different way.

In His teaching church, in His ministering people, in His holy sacraments, Jesus is.

It should not be inferred that through this process Jesus somehow loses his own identity. Far from it! It was Jesus who died on Calvary. Not us. It was Jesus who rose on Easter Sunday. Not us. And it is Jesus who will come again on the last day. Not us. It is also true that from his ascension into heaven until he comes again on the last day, he has chosen, if we let him, to work through us.

Years ago a disastrous fire destroyed the chapel of a major seminary. Once recovered, the full size crucifix, which overhung the main altar, was seen to have a barely singed body except for the hands and feet, which were burned away, completely destroyed. When the chapel was restored, they re-hung the damaged crucifix just as it was when found in the ashes. Beneath it they placed a large sign which read... "You are my hands and my feet."

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