John 13:8-9, “‘No,” said Peter, ‘you shall never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.’ ‘Then, Lord,’ Simon Peter replied, ‘not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!'”
It was the night of Jesus’ arrest. Satan had already prompted Judas to betray Him. Jesus knew His time on earth was coming to an end; yet, He must have felt there was so much more to teach them. Jesus wrapped a towel around His waist and knelt at the foot of each disciple. Lovingly, He washed their feet and dried them with the towel that was wrapped around His waist.
Understandably, Peter protested. Can you imagine if Jesus knelt at your feet and washed them? But, Jesus insisted and demonstrated to the disciples in a very genuine, heartfelt manner the act of humility.
I often wonder why one of the disciples didn’t wash Jesus’ feet in return. Did any of them offer to help Him wash the dirty feet of the 11 disciples? “I’ll take these 5, Master!” There is no indication that they did. It reads as if they watched Him wash everyone’s feet and dry them. Feet covered in all that could possibly be stepped in on the streets – from dirt to animal waste.
In the church I am privileged to serve, during Holy Week, our artistic team reenacts the Crucifixion of Christ. Our church sits on land next to a busy highway. Several men from our church hang on three crosses depicting Christ and the two thieves. The image is overwhelming at times. It is no easy task for these men either, as they stand on tiny blocks of wood and hold on to handles on each side, reflecting on the suffering of our Savior. I have seen them in rain and cold and sunny and dry weather working to honor Christ in this illustration of His sacrifice for us.
In the past, as I have witnessed the Crucifixion unfold, I take the time to notice the people behind the scenes – the ones who silently work; putting on the make-up; preparing the grounds; and making sure the day and the reinactment is Holy for our Lord. I often think about what Christ must think, looking down on us. I think about what it was actually like that day for Him. I think of Him in the Upper Room, the night of the Last Supper, washing the feet of the disciples, teaching them what it means to be a servant.
Cars will stop and watch. Some people kneel and pray before the Cross. Some people watch from the parking lot. There are those who weep; some who take pictures; some who don’t really know what to do. Words are not spoken. Most people are lost in thought and reflection.
This Friday, March 30th, we will have the Three Crosses Illustration from 9:00AM to 3:45PM. If you live in our area, I hope you will come and spend time praying and reflecting on the reason for Easter.
The reality of Jesus is that He came to teach us to serve. It isn’t a lesson any of us can learn overnight because learning to be a servant of others isn’t easy.
This morning our church is buzzing with activities of preparations for Good Friday and Easter. It is exciting to watch. And as I watch our teams in action, my heart is filled with Peter’s words, “…not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” When we serve others, we cover them with the love of Christ, from the bottom of their feet to the top of their head. We show them what it is like to be loved by our God, and we demonstrate that love in a humble way.