It is not uncommon for preachers to compare Jesus’ arms stretched out on the cross to his arms stretched out in love for us today. I thought this was a more modern convention, but apparently the analogy goes back at least as far as John Calvin.
“God declares to us that Jesus Christ, who once had his side pierced, today has his heart open, as it were, that we may have assurance of the love that he bears us; that as he once had his arms fastened to the cross, now he has them wide open to draw us to himself; and that as once he shed his blood, so today he wishes us to be plunged within it. So, when God invites us so sweetly and Jesus Christ sets before us the fruit of his death and passion, . . . let us all come to take our stand with our Lord Jesus Christ.” (John Calvin, Sermons on Isaiah’s Prophecy of the Death and Passion of Christ, p. 82)
Thank you, Lord, for the wide open arms of Christ my Savior.
HT: Ray Ortlund