All of it Matters
As we walk this Holy Week, and especially as we go into Maundy Thursday tomorrow, where is your heart? It felt like last year we missed out on all the celebration, or did it make it more special because you could focus on your family and Christ’s sacrifice? I would like to encourage all of us to point our eyes on Jesus and His great love for us. He went through all of the pain for us.
We just celebrated Palm Sunday and Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Jesus knew exactly what He was getting Himself into. He knew why He had to go to Jerusalem even though the apostles tried to dissuade Him. He knew the religious leaders were waiting to arrest and kill Him. He knew their plots. He even knew in the midst of the celebration that most of these people would turn on Him in less than a week. That all of His dearest friends would flee instead of staying with Him.
The Last Supper is a telling exchange between Jesus and the apostles. He is ready to serve them and humbles Himself so much that He washes their grimy, smelly feet. Have you seen someone’s feet after they have been wearing sandals and walking in the dirt? Our girls used to wear flip flops outside a lot in California, and their feet were always caked with dirt. It took effort to get them clean. I’m pretty sure the apostles’ big feet were even worse. And yet, the One Who could have cleaned their feet with a snap, took the time to get down on His knees, and gently and lovingly washed each foot.
Why do we sometimes feel our feet are too dirty? Why is it that we sometimes feel the things we have done are too much to forgive, or we are too ashamed to confess them? Jesus knew the apostles would not stand with Him. He knew one of His closest friends would deny even knowing Him. There are not many emotional things that hurt as badly as a dear friend turning their back on you. But He still washed their feet. He still shared a sacred meal with them. Because He loved them that much. He was prepared to die on the cross for them. This ragtag bunch of men. He loves you that much, too. He went through a horrible death for you. Why? Because He loves you and created you to have a relationship with Him. How is your relationship with Him? Take some time these next few days to truly contemplate what Jesus went through for you. The hurt of betrayal, the pain of lashes, the dismay of having no one stand next to you, the agony of nails, the utter despair of taking on all of the sins of the world. He did that for you. For me.
Don’t skip Good Friday because it makes you uncomfortable. Remember why He did all of it. Remember He desperately prayed that God would let Him skip that day, but He went through all of it anyway. Because you mean that much to Him. He loves you that much. No matter how many mistakes you make, no matter how many times you stumble, He’s still with you, loving you more than you can possibly imagine.
Only after we remember the sacrifice, can we truly celebrate the joy of the Resurrection. It didn’t end on Friday. Easter means so much more when we realize someday we will be able to share in that resurrection if we believe and trust in Jesus. Death is not the end. Hallelujah!