Today Jesus lowered himself and washed the feet of his followers. A task held for servants; most definitely not the King of Kings. This intimate act was his greatest lesson that night. He illustrated how to love others, even those hard to love. The night before his crucifixion, Jesus treated his enemy with the same care and compassion that he treated the other eleven. He knew Judas was going to set out and betray him, for he called him out on his treason then sent him to complete the act that would place Jesus above the fateful hill of Calvary. (John 13:26-27)
Just as Jesus washed the men clean, he went on to wash us all clean on the cross.
My heart is heavy today. I received some news that gave me incredible joy, only to have the rug swept from my feet. I imagine the twelve experienced a similar range of emotions that day. As the disciples settled into their places at the table with Jesus, feet washed clean by the messiah himself, emotions were high. Overwhelming gratitude, contentment and joy filled the room. Some may have rested in a stunned silence. One man likely sat with a smug ease, unmoved by Jesus’s selfless act.
Imagine the shift in the room when Jesus announced this would be his last supper with them, and furthermore, one of the men at that table would betray him. These men followed and worshiped Jesus. They left all they knew and gave up everything to pursue him. How outrageous that he would make such a statement! Immediately each man then started questioning themselves. One by one they inquired, “Is it I?” (Mark 14:19)
Could you imagine the person you loved more than anything, turning to you and accusing you of betrayal prompting death? Only one of the twelve knew who he was speaking to, so the other eleven were sent into a frenzy of vexation, followed by an odd paranoia. The thing was, Jesus never lied. The disciples knew this, so deep down they all knew that one of them was deceiving the rest.
Today I have experienced a similar range of emotions with God himself. First joy, then shock, overwhelming grief, self reflection and paranoia, followed by a river of salty tears.
I’m still not entirely sure what is to follow, but I know one thing is true. I belong to a God who rescued me time and time again. He’s walked me through more difficult things than I’d like to have experienced and I know that more will likely come my way. I can rest in knowing he already paid the price for my egregious acts; the cross is proof of that. I am washed clean and there is nothing in this world that can remove the power of God in me, because He is there every step of the way. Because of Him, I am not of this world. The world can break my body, but it cannot break my spirit because of who I am, the Holy Spirit within me. I am daughter to the King.
Tomorrow we remember the momentary darkness of a world without Jesus. In three days he’ll rise again, and we’ll rise up to worship the God who saves.