Dirty feet

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They were all resting in the upper room as the last fleeting rays of warm sunshine disappeared behind the pinnacles of the Temple.  John was busy lighting oil lamps hanging on the walls inside the alabaster room. The other eleven apostles were reclining around a u shaped table spread out with baskets of fresh bread, bitter herbs, lamb shank and cups filled with wine. 

They were all resting in the upper room as the last fleeting rays of warm sunshine disappeared behind the pinnacles of the Temple.  John was busy lighting oil lamps hanging on the walls inside the alabaster room. The other eleven apostles were reclining around a u shaped table spread out with baskets of fresh bread, bitter herbs, lamb shank and cups filled with wine. 

The men were filthy, it had been a long trip up from Jericho and the dry dusty roads had covered them in dirt. There was a deafening silence that hovered in the room as John lit the last oil lamp. Something terrible was about to happen, they could feel it, It was as if an invisible hand was grabbing them slowly tightening around their chests.

Earlier that day, Jesus had told His disciples where they were to find the donkey on which he would be led into Jerusalem. He also gave them instructions for the room that was to be prepared for the Passover meal. The Lord sent Peter and John ahead to prepare the meal “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house which he enters. Then you will say to the master of the house, The Teacher says to you, ‘Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples? Then he will show you a large, furnished upper room; there make ready.”

Cold stone pillars supported the portico roof and hallway that led to an outdoor deck area. Curtains billowed and floated in the steady evening breeze.  An oil lamp hanging from an east wall cast flickering light that both lightly illuminated and silhouetted the figures of the men reclining on pillows strewn around the table. “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” said Jesus softly to his disciples who weren’t totally paying attention but too busy arguing amongst themselves. 

There had been a heavy tension in the air ever since the men had traveled through Capernaum. Jesus had asked them point blank what it was that they were arguing about but they kept silent. He already knew what was in their hearts for they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest.

Now it was time to begin the Passover so Jesus took a cup and blessed it while reaching into a basket of unleavened bread. His rough hands, the abused hands of a middle-aged carpenter, easily tore pieces off for each man. “This is my body which is given to you: this do in remembrance of me.” To memorialize the sacrifice He was about to make for the world. Then likewise He took the last cup of the Passover, the cup of joy, and said “This is the blood of a new testament-a new agreement-which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

Jesus had fold told days before of the events of His coming sufferings “Behold we go up to Jerusalem where the Son of Man shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated and they shall scourge him, and put him to death; and the third day he shall rise again.”  

Outside the air was calm and silent as the dynamic pause before the final crescendo of a great concert. Inside it was noisy as the apostles continued their quarrel. An ongoing argument had been re-kindled earlier that day as to who was the greatest; because no house servants were present to bathe their feet nobody volunteered to do the mandatory ceremonial washing. Each man had walked past the clay water pitcher without giving it a second thought. Tired, dirty, angry, thirsty as well as hungry they all tried to cover their feet with their robes to hide their shame.

It was at this very instant that Jesus from Nazareth rose from the table, took a towel, girded himself, poured water into a basin and began to do the menial task that was intended for the lowest of all the house servants. The lord began washing the apostles feet. 

This one simple act would sum up, symbolize what Christ had come to earth to do. To serve us by enduring the cross.  What an upside down kingdom it is when the King-Creator of the universe has to come to the earth He created and wash our feet. Make a decision right now and ask the Master to wash your feet.

“There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins.  And sinners plunged beneath its flood loose all their guilty stains.”

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