Graven on His Hands?



Sunday entries are taken from the classic devotional series In Christ by E. Stanley Jones.


We saw last week that being in Christ is bigger than we supposed. Instead of being within the sphere of influence of a historical figure, who faintly and indirectly operates on us as any other historical figure, perhaps a little more vividly and vitally, we are beginning to see that to be in Him is to be in ultimate reality. To be in Him is to have the roots of our being in reality. To be in Him is to have the sum total of reality behind us, sustaining us and giving us cosmic backing.

Isaiah 49:16 says: “Behold, I have graven you on the palms of my hands.” We are not chalked on God’s hands, nor painted on; we are graven. If we were chalked or painted on His hands, He could wash His hands of us. If we are graven on His hands, however, as a sculptor engraves a name in granite, then we are literally on His hands forever. The name of Jesus is not chalked or painted on the facts of history or nature; it is graven—ineffaceably graven into the nature of reality. As one writer put it: “The name of Jesus is not written on history—it is plowed into it.”

To be in Christ is to live life according to the grain of the universe, not against it. In the San Francisco airport is this sign: “As you slide down the banister of life, may all the splinters be turned the other way.” Well, if you slide down the banister of life without Christ, then all the splinters are turned the wrong way. You get hurt. You cannot revolt against Him without revolting against yourself. “He who spits against the wind spits in his own face.” We often think that the alternative is: to be His, or to be my own? If you are not His, however, you are not your own. If you lose Life, you lose life. You are like the child who beats his head against the wall to punish his mother—and finds it a losing game.

To be in Christ is to be in life, to be out of Christ is to be out of life. He is Life. All else is anti-life.


O Jesus Christ, I see that to choose Thee is to choose life, to refuse Thee is to refuse life. So I choose Thee, not with a portion of my being but with all there is of me—now and forever. I am committed. Amen.


 If I want to live, this is the way. I can live some other way and get hurt.

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Eli Stanley Jones was an evangelical Methodist missionary to India who sought to make a clear distinction between biblical Christianity and Western culture. For 70 years, Dr. E. Stanley Jones proclaimed the Gospel of Christ throughout the world, earning him the title of "the world's greatest missionary evangelist" by Time magazine in 1938, the Gandhi Peace Prize in 1963, and two Nobel Peace Prize nominations during his lifetime. An author of 29 books, he moved among statesmen and among leaders as counselor, friend, and worker for peace and helped hundreds of thousands, from village outcasts in India to molders of public opinion in America, Japan, Europe, and India.