Outstretched Arms

With a mighty hand and an outstretched arm,
His love endures forever,
For the life that’s been reborn, His love endures forever
Sing Praise, sing praise!

These words are from the song Forever by Chris Tomlin.  I love that opening phrase “With a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, His love endures forever.”  When I first learned the song, it reminded me of a challenging church meeting, many years ago, where someone said, “Let us never think the arm of the Lord is too short.” I was encouraged by the statement, not realizing at the time, that it was reference to a scriptural theme.

Eventually, I began to notice the phrase again and again, in scripture, initially in Exodus, where God promises His people,  “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm.”  Many times in Deuteronomy, we read “God brought you out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm”. 

A friend pointed out that Pharaoh was known to have ruled with his arm lifted high, demonstrating his might. Exodus 6:1 says of Pharaoh, “For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land. Yet God says in verse 6 of the same chapter, “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm…”

Recently, in my study over lent, I was reading about the Passover; the four cups of wine represent the “I will” promises of God, in Exodus 6:6-7.  As Jesus was observing Passover with his disciples, he would have recited the promise “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm…” This statement accompanies the third cup, also called the cup of redemption.  “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm…  It’s amazing to know that while Jesus recites the words from the Exodus experiences, He himself will be the one to provide redemption.

Soon after that Passover, Christ was beaten and flogged, bruised and mocked.  And then He laid down His life, with outstretched arms on a harsh rugged cross, and He died.

His death… his resurrection… his victory over death… our redemption!

….I will redeem you with outstretched arms.

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About Marian

Missional Discipleship
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5 Responses to Outstretched Arms

  1. Ineke Bezuyen says:

    Hi Marion,
    Encouraging message, thanks for pointing us to the one an only who is LORD! Tonight I will be attending a seder supper and hear those words again. Wishing you the blessing of knowing this Jesus who suffered and died and who rose again! Hallelujah, What a Saviour!

  2. Marian says:

    Thanks Ineke, for your words. May God bless you as you participate in the seder supper… may you be reminded afresh of His love, shown through his ‘outstretched arms’. Blessings for this Holy week and for Easter!

  3. Jack Tacoma says:

    Thanks Marian for the reminder of God’s arms – powerful, humble, sacrificing, embracing and never too short. Great Easter message.

  4. Marian says:

    Thanks Jack,
    As I pondered this some more, I remembered a time when I experienced the Outstretched Arms of God…
    It was a cold November day, my Dad had just died, in an accident, on the farm. Our shock and grief immobilized us. We were gathered in our family home, my mother, my sibblings, spouses and kids. Neighbours came, bringing food.. what else could they do? I remember a woman named Jane… she brought her gift of food, and simply hugged each one of us, quietly, tears on her face.
    Probably one of the hardest things she ever had to do… stepping into our pain that day. But I remember sensing the arms of Jesus, as Jane wrapped her arms around me.
    …The arms of Jesus, in the arms of His people.

  5. Marg says:

    MARIAN, i just love this !!! I am officially inspired, ONCE again, this beautiful Easter weekend….we drove by Connon Nurseries, just reflecting on how wonderful it is for Kali and Justin to be moving into such a wonderful new home, so fun to be part of this with them, they were indeed provided for by the arms of Jesus….
    Anyways, the sign said….In HIS death, we walk new LIFE….beautiful words for the community who drives by, hey?

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