TEEN TREE OF LIFE

The Final Passover - Part 3

April 3, 2022

 

Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called Rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1 JOH 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins andto cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on The Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”

 

As we continue to study The Final Passover, let’s look at JOH 13:10-17 (The Message Bible): Jesus said, “If you’ve had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you’re clean from head to toe. My concern, you understand, is holiness, not hygiene. So now you’re clean. But not every one of you.” (He knew who was betraying him. That’s why he said, “Not every one of you.”) After he had finished washing their feet, he took his robe, put it back on, and went back to his place at the table. Then he said, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life.”

           

In this passage, The Lord Jesus Christ uses the physical present to explain the spiritual reality. A person who has taken a bath does not need to bathe again because he has walked to the house of the Passover. He only needs to have his feet cleaned. The fact that Jesus is talking about more than physical dirt is brought out in His explaining that not all of them were clean. And of course, His comment that not every one of the disciples is clean was said about Judas. He wasn’t saying that Judas forgot to take a bath before he came to the Passover meal, but that his heart was still filled with sin. Why? Because Judas did not believe in Jesus Christ as His Personal Savior.

 

The spiritual reality is that the rest of the disciples only needed to deal with the filth that got on them as they walked to the Passover meal. They were believers and cleaned themselves of sin by rebounding. John wrote about rebound in 1 JOH 1:9 (New American Standard Bible): If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This is spiritual reality for us. We need our spiritual feet cleaned as we live in this world. Satan lies and slanders believers, and at times, we may start believing those lies and think we cannot be used by Jesus Christ because of the sin in our lives. That is just what our adversary wants us to believe. The truth is that all who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins, through His Atoning Death on Calvary, have been cleansed from their sins. Judas never did.

 

COL 2:14 (New International Reader’s Version) comforts us with this fact about sin: He wiped out what the law said that we owed. The law stood against us. It judged us. But he has taken it away and nailed it to the cross. Jesus Christ cancelled the record of our debt, in the same way a legal pardon cancels the penalty for that crime. In the day and time Paul wrote The Book of Colossians, a person could be arrested or enslaved to pay off financial debts. They could also be enslaved as punishment for committing a crime. The image Paul's original readers would have gotten is a person's financial debt being erased along with the legal consequences. A believer no longer lived under the threat of punishment or enslavement to sin.

 

Additionally, Jesus "set aside" our sins as believers. This is a separate action from the legal or financial metaphor. Declaring someone "pardoned" does not necessarily mean they are "welcomed." However, according to Paul, those who put their faith in Christ have their sins removed from His Sight. The failures of a saved believer are no longer a barrier between them and God. God's Forgiveness not only means freedom from the eternal punishment of sin. It also means we can have a living relationship with Him now.

 

For the believer in Christ, His Death on The Cross is sufficient payment for all sins. Paul uses a graphic metaphor here, of sin itself being crucified when he writes that sin was nailed to The Cross. In that era, crucifixion was not merely a brutal form of execution, it was a sign of absolute rejection. There were many other ways to execute people at that time, but crucifixion carried a sense of shame and disowning. So, when God crucifies sin, He is not merely killing it, He is completely and utterly ignoring it and cutting it off. This is so important because it means that He no long remembers our sins.

 

JOH 13:12 (New International Reader’s Version) fills us in on what happened after Jesus washed His disciples’ feet: When Jesus finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes. Then he returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. Then He began to teach them the meaning of what He had just done.

 

First, He made His Own Position clear in JOH 13:13-17 (New International Reader’s Version): “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord.’ You are right. That is what I am. I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet. So you also should wash one another’s feet. I have given you an example. You should do as I have done for you. What I’m about to tell you is true. A slave is not more important than his master. And a messenger is not more important than the one who sends him. Now you know these things. So you will be blessed if you do them. Jesus is both their Teacher and Lord. But the sense of “teacher” here is more than what we normally assign those with that title here in America. The common Hebrew word for “teacher” is “Rabbi.” Jesus Christ was often called Rabbi. Look at JOH 1:38 (New International Reader’s Version): Then Jesus turned around and saw them following. He asked, “What do you want?” They [some of His disciples] said, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” Rabbi means Teacher. Nicodemus also addresses Jesus Christ as Rabbi in JOH 3:2 (New International Reader’s Version): He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. We know that God is with you. If he weren’t, you couldn’t do the signs you are doing.”

 

“Rabbi” is derived from “Abba,” meaning “father” or “daddy.” A Jewish teacher – especially a religious teacher – was seen as a substitute father and was given all the respect due to a father. Jesus Christ took the place of a father to His disciples even in leading the Final Passover meal.

 

The disciples also recognized that Jesus was their Lord. He was their Master and they were to be His slaves. Peter had also already declared, on behalf of the disciples, that they recognized that Jesus was also Deity when He questioned their faith: Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah. You are the Son of the living God.” (MATT 16:16 New International Reader’s Version)

 

Now, back to JOH 13:13-17 (The Message Bible). It’s worth noting that Jesus isn’t rebuking or scolding the disciples with His Words for being selfish. His Words are a loving, positive encouragement: “…if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life.”

 

Our Savior’s Message here is that we all need to deal with each other in humility and not in pride. Jesus had taught them this principle previously and now He reinforces the lesson with His own action of washing their feet. If Jesus could perform the slave’s role for His disciples, then certainly the disciples could be servants to one another. And that is true for all believers!

 

Some have taken The Lord’s Command in this verse – “you must now wash each other’s feet” – to mean that foot-washing should be practiced as an ordinance in the church just as communion is practiced. This is incorrect. The Lord Jesus Christ’s Command here is that we follow His Example in doing as He did by being humble servants of one another. It is not a specific command to do what He did as a religious ritual, that is, to literally wash each other’s feet. PHIL 2:4-8 (New International Reader’s Version) teaches us how to be humble with one another: None of you should look out just for your own good. Each of you should also look out for the good of others. As you deal with one another, you should think and act as Jesus did. In his very nature he was God. Jesus was equal with God. But Jesus didn’t take advantage of that fact. Instead, he made himself nothing. He did this by taking on the nature of a servant. He was made just like human beings. He appeared as a man. He was humble and obeyed God completely.

{to be continued}

 

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