I am in a Palm Sunday kind of mood.
I love Holy Week. It is the most important season on the Christian calendar. This week commemorates and celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! It is the culmination of our faith and the catalyst for the redemption and the salvation of our world!
As you enter into Holy Week tomorrow, think about John 13:1-9:
Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.” “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!” Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.” Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”
John writes that Jesus knew the Father had given him authority over everything and that Jesus knew he had come from God and would return to God.
God gave Jesus authority over everything!
According to John, Jesus carries the authority of the creator, maker, and owner of the universe and all within it. And his response to this kind of authority and power - the greatest amount of power one man has ever possessed? He takes off his robe, kneels down, and washes the feet of his broken, flawed disciples... disciples like you and me.
This act begs the question: why would Jesus use his authority and power on Earth for such an act as this? This is God’s moment - this is holy week - it’s passover, the most important event on the Jewish calendar - Jesus is in the epicenter of religious and political culture within Israel - one might expect him to shout from the rooftops about the nature and character of God!
But instead, he washes the feet of his disciples - in a hidden upper room away from the masses and the hoopla of the religious and political festivals… because John writes of Jesus in John 10:10...
The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full!
Jesus does all of these things - rides on a humble, shameful donkey on Sunday, washes the feet of his broken, frustrating disciples on Monday, and eventually goes all the way to the cross on Friday because God desires for us to have ABUNDANT LIFE through his ABUNDANT LOVE!
All authority on heaven and on Earth has been given to Jesus by the Father. And rather than use this kind of power for his own self-interests, Jesus leverages his kind of authority - and bears witness to the ethic of the kingdom of God - through humility. The resulting action of his authority and leadership is ABUNDANT LIFE through ABUNDANT LOVE!
The Apostle Paul sums it up like this to his letter to the Philippian Church:
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a servant and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
May you know the abundant love of the Father tomorrow and forever.
QUESTION: This week, as you reflect on the abundant love of Jesus for you and how you need to respond in obedience, what do you need to lay down at the feet of Jesus?