«But to Israel he says: ‘All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people’ » (Romans 10:21).
THE MONUMENT called Christ the Redeemer, considered one of the greatest symbolic monuments of South America, is a work of art standing atop Mount Corcovado, 2,300 feet above sea level, in Tijuca National Park, overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Erected in a paradise-like place, it is considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world, together with Machu Picchu, the Great Wall of China, the Colosseum in Rome, the Taj Mahal, Chichén Itzá, and Petra. In 2012, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site.
Christ the Redeemer has a height of 125 feet (98 for the monument and 27 for the pedestal), which is equivalent to a building of thirteen floors. The arms are ninety-two feet wide. The monument can withstand winds of 155 miles per hour, including a category-5 hurricane.
But this Christ, made of reinforced concrete weighing more than a thousand tons, does not see, nor does His heart feels anything. It is nothing but metal and cement.
In today’s text, Paul again quotes Isaiah to express God’s love and patience in spite of the disobedience and rebellion of His people. Jesus, the true One who is in heaven, has His arms open and outstretched today and every day. They are arms of protection, compassion, mercy, and forgiveness. They are the arms that formed us and that one day, also extended, were nailed to a cross for us.
Ellen G. White challenged us:
Through the goodness and mercy of Christ the sinner is to be restored to the divine favor. God in Christ is daily beseeching men to be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:19). With outstretched arms He is ready to receive and welcome not only the sinner but the prodigal. His dying love, manifested on Calvary, is the sinner’s assurance of acceptance, peace, and love. Teach these things in the simplest form, that the sin-darkened soul may see the light shining from the cross of Calvary (Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 178).
Christ’s arms are always extended to all sinners, whether disobedient, rebellious, or prodigal, and offer a protective and saving embrace. His face, the same one that was injured when a crown of thorns was placed on His head, looks at us tenderly, offering restoration and a new life. His eyes, always open, attentive to each of His children as if they were the only thing, He had to take care of in His entire universe.
This Christ is not affected by hurricanes, winds, or lightning.
Rather, He has the ability to calm even the most furious storms that could affect your life.