Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”
Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” (John 13:3-9 ESV)
Cleaning the toilet is always such a glorious task isn’t it? Out of all of the household chores I would have to say it is one of my least favorites. I mean who really enjoys getting nice and cozy with a dirty, disgusting toilet?
Today as I went about this lovely task my little Hudson appeared at the bathroom door with the hymnal we use during Bible time. He has gotten into the habit of bringing it to me whenever he wants to sing, and who wouldn’t want to sing while cleaning toilets? As I started to go through the melody of “Holy, Holy, Holy” I found myself giggling as the hilarity of the situation set in on me. Here I am singing about God’s perfection, his utter cleanness, his purity, while the paper towel I am holding sweeps away accumulated filth from the past week. The two subjects on my mind could not be more diametrically opposed to one another. But the stark contrast found in that ordinary moment reminded me of my own filthiness before a holy God, the unimaginable grace shown by the Savior Jesus Christ to this poor and lowly sinner.
Christ and me. How opposite are our natures. How filthy and disgusting was I when he chose to lavish his love upon me! How clean and pure was he when he suffered for my sin, when he washed me and clothed me with his righteousness! How incredible are the truths of mercy and grace! How unimaginable that my king would stoop down and dirty himself with the filth I accumulated every moment of everyday on the path of unrighteousness. How wondrous that he would go about the business of continually washing me, purifying me even when I stray from his commands–because his blood is that powerful. How marvelous is the Savior who washes away sins: past, present, and future.
Let us never forget sisters, no matter how close we get to Christ, no matter how familiar we become with him, that he has shown us mercy and grace immeasurable. We must never forget how filthy we were, and how deep our struggle against sin continues to be. Christ has made a way for salvation that was once impossible, that by our own merit should still be impossible if it weren’t for his love, if it weren’t for his mercy. Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus that covers all our sins, that counts them as nothing as we are washed by the precious blood that transforms the harlot into a pure bride. This grace is AMAZING. Never allow it to become common or everyday.
When Jesus stooped down to wash his disciple’s feet, to serve them in such a humble way, they were outraged. A Messiah, doing the job of a servant was unheard of, but a God taking the punishment for his creation should do nothing less than take our breath away. This is the reality that we live in; this is the power for salvation.
“I thought I could have leaped from earth to heaven at one spring when I first saw my sins drowned in the Redeemer’s blood” (Charles Spurgeon)