John 13:8:”Peter said to Him, You shall never wash my feet!”
Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part of me.”
It is Holy week, today marks the beginning of the last week of Jesus life on earth. It begins today with the mountain top that is Palm Sunday, travels to the valley that is Good Friday, and culminates with the ultimate victory of Easter Sunday.
When I was a boy, Palm Sunday was a big event in the Lutheran churches we attended. It was a remembrance of the triumphal entry of the Lord into Jerusalem. John 12:12:15:
12 The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’[d]
The King of Israel!”
14 Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:
15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
Behold, your King is coming,
Sitting on a donkey’s colt.”[e]
What a celebration! I can see it: The palm branches being waved in the air. the shouting crowds, the congestion in the streets as Jesus made His way through the masses, everyone smiling and waving. what a contrast it is to think that scant days later, the same crowds would be shouting again; this time for crucifixion. Palm branches and blankets will be replaced by whips and nails and the donkey that bears the mark of it today will be replaced by a rugged wooden cross.
For today though, the crowds cheer. The question is, what did they expect of Jesus? And, what do we expect of Him today? Some in the crowd then, expected revolution. The Jews of the first century were firmly under the yoke of Roman rule. They looked to Jesus to overthrow Rome. Some in the crowd (The Pharisees) wanted Jesus dead Mark 14: 1-2:
After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by trickery and put Him to death. 2 But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar of the people.”
The disciples, those men that had followed Him for three years, loved Him, and in that moment told everyone. Luke 19:37-40:
37 Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, 38 saying:
“ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’[a]
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”
40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”
God’s word is true yesterday, today, and forever because the expectations haven’t changed. 20 centuries later, there are still those who look to Jesus to lead the revolution, solve the immediate problem whatever it might be. There are still those who want Jesus dead. We live in a society today that has done everything it can to eradicate Jesus and His gospel from our lives. We live in a society that has stands as witness to the systematic persecution and execution of christians world-wide while the, “largest christian nation,” on earth stands in the courtyard of blissful inaction; warming themselves by the fire. John 18:25:
25 Now Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. Therefore they said to him, “You are not also one of His disciples, are you?”
He denied it and said, “I am not!”
There are also those who unabashedly love Jesus. Those examples that serve as inspiration to the rest of us. Even as I write this a list of those people begins to form in my mind. Each persons list is different but all of us who believe have been given mentors, light posts in the wilderness that show us not only what the Christian life looks like but cheer us un in our daily walk with Christ. Psalm 18:1:
[ God the Sovereign Savior ] [ To the Chief Musician.A Psalm of David the servant of the Lord, who spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. And he said: ] I will love You, O Lord, my strength.
No matter what the expectation, Jesus far exceeds it – every time. He leads the revolution, but not in the way we expect; If you want Him dead He will go but He never dies or truly leaves you. And, for those who love Him, He is always at work. Romans 8:28:
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
On this Palm Sunday Jesus restates the expectation yet again. It is not about our expectations of Jesus but rather His expectation of us. The creator of the universe shows us it is better to serve then be served. He sacrificed everything for us even though we did not and do not deserve it, there is nothing more for us to expect. He asks in return only that we accept His sacrifice freely and dedicate our lives not in perfection but humility to Him.
Jesus Christ stands before you with a basin and a towel asking you to allow Him to wash your feet; to knock off the dust of regret, despair, pain, and inadequacy and open the door to a new beginning in Christ! Pick up your palm branch and join the celebration of the redeemed!
Grace & Peace,
*If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, email me at savedIIserve@gmail.com and let me know! I will be happy to lead you through what the bible says about salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as your savior.*