Feb 27, 2008
by Amy Grant
Feb 27, 2008
by Amy Grant
Who is more important: the one sitting at the table or the one serving? You think the one at the table is more important, but I am like a servant among you. LUKE 22:27
In Jesus’ day the washing of feet was a task reserved not just for servants but for the lowest of servants. Every circle has its pecking order, and the circle of household workers was no exception. The servant at the bottom of the totem pole was expected to be the one on his knees with the towel and basin.
In this case the one with the towel and basin is the king of the universe. Hands that shaped the stars now wash away filth. Fingers that formed mountains now massage toes. And the one before whom all nations will one day kneel now kneels before his disciples. Hours before his own death, Jesus’ concern is singular. He wants his disciples to know how much he loves them. More than removing dirt, Jesus is removing doubt.
Just Like Jesus
We use many names for Jesus—the Christ, Teacher, Messiah, Prophet, and King, among others. But one name stands out as a comprehensive description of the Lord’s purpose: the Lamb of God. His miracles and teachings were all remarkable, but even greater was His death on the cross.
Our Savior’s sacrifice was the heart of the Father’s plan for mankind. Since the beginning, God has dealt with the sins of His people through a blood offering. He Himself offered the first sacrifice when He killed an animal and used its skin as coverings for Adam and Eve. The fig leaves they were wearing could cover their bodies but not their wrongdoing.
Leviticus 17:11 tells us that the life is in the blood and “it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.” Ezekiel adds, “The soul who sins will die” (18:4). Sin always requires death because of the righteousness and holiness of God. Either a life must end as payment for sin, or a life must be given as payment for another’s wrongdoing.
The way God has always dealt with man’s transgression is through sacrifice. Jesus came as the sin-bearer for the entire world: He assumed full responsibility for all our iniquity and guilt so we can be free from punishment. By His death, we’re made righteous and holy in God’s eyes.
Why is it important to refer to Christ as the Lamb of God? Because doing so acknowledges the substitutionary death wherein God unleashed His full fury and righteous judgment upon Jesus. As a result, we can stand before God and say, “Thank You that I can call You my Father.”
“Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24)
Many centuries ago, a desperate father brought his son to the Lord Jesus with an appeal for healing. The boy was demon-possessed from childhood and tormented physically and spiritually. The agony was awful. His father had brought him to Jesus’ disciples, and they were unable to do anything. Nothing worked (Mark 9:17-21).
Jesus told the father, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth” (v. 23). The urgent and tearful cry of that hurting father was, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (v. 24). No doubt we often need to plea for such help. Join me in this prayer that the Lord will grant us greater faith in Him.
Oh Lord, God, we cannot know the end of a thing. We do not have certainty about the plans of our days. Forgive us when we try without consulting You. Forgive our blundering efforts to make something happen. We love You, and we want to please You, but our lives are so caught up in the things of this world. Help us, Lord. Help us to know how much we need You. Help us to see the real values of eternal things. Give us a greater awareness of Your Holy Spirit. Give us a holy awe of Your Word. Drive us to our knees more often, Lord. Keep us close.
Oh, our Father, purge us from the ungodly. Separate us from the sins that hinder and blind us. Meet us in the halls of our heart and sanctify us there. And then, Lord Jesus, embolden us for the work ahead. Provide our daily bread. Cleanse us of our sins and enrich our fellowship with the saints. Clothe us in the armor of God and place us where we must stand. Enable us to resist the enemy in the faith, that we may see his strongholds crumble and his minions flee. Grant us a fruitful harvest and an effective ministry, in Jesus’ name. Amen. HMM III
God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.—2 Corinthians 4:6.
Surely, He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.—Isaiah 53:4.
THE way to think of God so as to know Him, is to think of Christ. Then we see Him, and can understand how tender and merciful and good He is. We see that if He sends us sorrows and difficulties, He only sends them because they are the true blessings, the things that are truly good. He would have us like Himself, with a happiness like His own, and nothing below it; and so as His own happiness is in taking sorrow and infirmity, and ever assisting, and giving and sacrificing Himself, He gives us sorrows too, and weaknesses, which are not the evils that we think them, but are what we should be most happy in, if we were perfect and had knowledge like Him. So there is a use and a service in all we bear, in all we do, which we do not know, but which He knows, and which in Christ He shows to us. It is a use for others, a hidden use, but one which makes all our life rich, and that richest which is most like Christ’s. JAMES HINTON.
He bowed his shoulder to bear.
Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. — Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips. — Aaron held his peace. — It is the LORD; let him do what seemeth him good.
Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee. — Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Genesis 49:15. James 5:10. 1 Corinthians 10:11. Job 2:10. Leviticus 10:3. 1 Samuel 3:18. Psalm 55:22. Isaiah 53:4. Matthew 11:28-30.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. — Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
We walk by faith, not by sight. — We faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory: while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. — An inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.
1 John 2:15. Matthew 6:19-21. 2 Corinthians 5:7. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. 1 Peter 1:4.