“Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
There is one further aspect that is important and very real and practical. It is this – and Jesus brings it out clearly in the account of the foot-washing. Although we have been ‘cleansed,’ as we journey through the world of dirt and darkness some of it will attach itself to us – to our ‘feet’ so to speak. This may be either because we have chosen to walk through the ‘mud’ or because of the contamination in the atmosphere that has affected us without our realising it.
For the Christian this is no longer the sin that results in separation and death because the Lord has already dealt with that on the cross. Nevertheless it does affect us, distract us, ‘clog up the works’ and interfere with the closeness and intimacy of our relationship with the Lord. So the Lord in His love and grace comes to us each day to wash our ‘feet’ – to cleanse us, set us free and to ensure that nothing in all creation will separate us from God’s love expressed in Him.
That is why His Great Prayer contains the request ‘forgive us our sins’ and why John could write to affirm and encourage us,
- “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)
- “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
As He kneels at our feet we may want to say to Him, “No Lord! You shouldn’t be doing this to me!” His reply will be gentle and loving, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” So we still ourselves in awe and wonder as He washes and cleans our feet from all the stains of our journey.
Not for a moment must we allow ourselves to think that sin no longer matters. It still does, and very much so. However, one more powerful than sin has called us to Himself – and He is always there to hear our confession and to cleanse us – and He is the only one who can.
Seek the Lord every day to ask for His forgiveness and cleansing – and allow yourself to receive it in its truth and reality.
Forgive me my sins Lord – and help me too to forgive those who sin against me – for Your sake. Amen.