“Once a week, our group of around fifteen people meet up to worship in song and study the Bible for an hour or two.
This being Holy Week, we decided to walk through the things that Jesus did in the final few days before his death on Good Friday.
We felt that God was leading us to take part in the beautifully humble act of washing each other’s feet. I was quite excited about it, until it was decided that I would be the first person to have his feet washed, and that it would be the senior most person who would do the washing.
Immediately, like Peter, I realized this was going to be very weird. All my arguments and explanations on why I shouldn’t be first fell on deaf ears. So I sat on the chair and watched, squirming and awkward, as she carried the jug of water to me, bent down and began to wash my feet. It wasn’t perfunctory or half-hearted, she rubbed hard and got all the dirt and grime off them, with water being poured continuously. When she was done, she picked up a towel, and dried them completely. I stood up, and following Jesus’ command, bent down and began to wash the feet of the person next to me.
And so, the cycle continued – all of us washing each other’s feet, one after the other- until all were washed and all had washed. It was a beautiful moment for all of us. Some of us began to weep, overwhelmed by the love and humility in this powerful act. Some were awestruck by how the King of the universe could do this to His servants the night before He died, including the one who would betray Him, the one who would deny Him, and the ones who would run away at the first sight of trouble as well.
While we were lost in the moment, I decided to step into another room to get some paper and pens – just in case anyone would like to write or draw something. Just as I stepped into the room, I suddenly became aware of something – the floor in this room was dirty. Suddenly, I could feel the dirt cling to the bottom of my feet. I couldn’t see it, but I felt what it was doing to me. I felt it trying to undo what had just happened, trying to undo the cleansing of my feet.
And suddenly, I did not want to be there anymore. Everything within me wanted to leave that room. And I realized that the only reason I felt this way was because I knew that someone I looked up to, someone who was so much wiser and more respected in society than me, chose to be humble, bow down to the lowest part of my body and wash my dirty feet. Though it didn’t seem like much, I knew that there was a price that had been paid. And all of a sudden, everything within me was screaming against taking that truth for granted.
Jesus said, “Whoever has already bathed needs only to wash his feet, and he will be completely clean”. Jesus not only washed His disciples feet, but also bathed them – bathed all of us – when He chose to die a terrible death upon that Cross. He took our place and His blood cleansed all of us who believe, so that we may be forgiven.
Yet, I realized that there was more to it than just that. The Power of the Cross is not just in the forgiveness of sins, but also in realizing the price that was paid on that dark day at Calvary. It’s in repentance. It’s in realizing what He has done, and letting that realization – that power – cause everything within us to look at sin and scream, “I don’t want to do that anymore. I don’t want to sin anymore. Not after I know the price that was paid for me”.
When you understand that Holy Blood was shed for you, that the skin of the Creator of it all was torn for you, that His face was spat on for your sake, and that His hands – the hands that washed your feet – had nails hammered through them for you, you will want to stop saying or doing anything that would lead to an undoing of His work in your life…
That’s the power of the Cross!”