We finished Passover -- washed each other’s feet, broke and ate the bread of Christ – and we drank of the Master’s cup of the new covenant. Now what? We know the day is coming when Jesus will say to faithful servants, “Well done…” (Matthew 25:21, 23)
Have you ever wished YOU could say to the King – “Well done, Lord – well done, King! Well done”? It struck me, as I read the chapters of John 13-17 at the end of the service, what an incredible “command performance” we see from our Master and Savior on that Passover at HIS last Passover day on earth—painful and horrifying as it was. And now dear Lord, you have been raised from the dead, clothed in majesty and wrapped in light on the right hand of our heavenly Father and King of the Universe. We can’t wait for you to return, to be sent back, to fix the mess this planet is in, this planet you created by your words of your mouth.
As he listened with annoyance to his disciples’ bickering over who among them was the greatest, he rose even as he recalled he had come from GOD and was going back to God. He rose and took a towel and a basin and taught us a big lesson. He began to do a slave or servant’s task – kneeling before each of his students, one by one washing between their toes and cleaning their feet that had become dusty along the way. Here was the night when GOD (John 1:1-3) as a flesh and blood young man wasn’t above doing menial work and kneeling before each of his flabbergasted students. He taught us that when it comes to helping and serving, little or nothing should be beneath our willingness jump right in and serve humbly. The night God washed feet.
But what’s so amazing is that he took the footwashing to the next level. It wasn’t just about being humble or having the attitude of a servant – which it surely showed as well. No, when he came to Peter and Peter balked, Yeshua told us the MEAT of what the footwashing was really all about: “Peter, if I don’t wash you, you have NO PART with me!” (John 13:8).
He made the point that HE washed all of them, even Judas was still there. If you had been there, your feet would have felt the caring and manly hands of the carpenter from Nazareth. He wants us to see each other as washed by him, no matter what it is we think we know about a particular brother or sister in the ekklesia. We’ve been washed by Christ himself. He wants us to wash one another too, to verify with each other that we’re not holding on to any dirt about them. No, the Master has washed them, and so we do too.
So before we can partake of his bread – picturing his body, his life, his presence in us – we must first come under his washing year by year as we stumble along the way and pick up dirt when we really wanted to stay clean… or else we have no part in him.
By that last supper with his disciples, as He broke bread and blessed it, surely it meant a lot more to Him to realize that was depicting His very own body. He was thanking God for his broken body that he was about to share. I find that amazing. No doubt he had seen dozens of crucifixions. He understood his body would look like beaten hamburger by the time the Romans were done with him. But by his stripes we are healed, so we remain grateful. The bread pictures his life coming into us, giving us life.
When you lift up the sheet of matzah, you’ll see baking stripes and holes in the flat bread. He was pierced for our transgressions. By his stripes we are healed. Then he asked me to eat of him and let him come into me as my new life. Hallelujah.
Then we read how his cup of red wine is the new covenant in his blood. Jews drank of cups of wine in honor of the promises God made Israel in Egypt in Exodus 6. The one we read about was probably the 3rd cup of Redemption. Anyway, he invited us to drink from his cup too. Imagine that! I just drank of my Master’s cup, verifying I’m all in for him and whatever he has in store for me in this life – the good and the “bad” or difficult times.
Then they left and walked to the Garden of Gethsemane. Along the way he spoke of growth, fruit and vineyards, and how important it is to obey him and our Father. He spoke of going to prepare a place for us in his Father’s house, and how he would come to get us and show us what he’s prepared for those who love him. He spoke of rough times ahead but that we were to have peace, for he had overcome the world and would strengthen us. He mentioned the Adversary, the ruler of this world coming – “But he has nothing in me” (John 14:30).
Look at what Master did. As He prepared for the long ordeal, He took time to comfort His disciples. “Don’t fear, don’t worry. Ask anything in my name and I will do it”. Over and over, all during supper, He comforted, encouraged, reassured – and loved those disciples. He told each of them – and you and me – to love one another in the same way he loves us. He discussed the promised Helper, Comforter – the Holy Spirit. He spoke of the Father and Himself coming to live in them. Wow. Incredible. What a flawless example. “Because I live, you will live”. “I am the vine, and you are the branches. Abide in me and you will bear much fruit.” Even though he predicted they would all leave him initially, he would continue to love them.
Our master prayed to the Holy Father (John 17) and prayed that all his followers could be as one, as Yeshua and his Father are as one. I remember reading John 17:23 where our King states that his Father loves us as much as he loves Yeshua.
Then they reached the Garden of the Olive Press (Gethsemane). When Judas appeared with a troop of armed temple guards to betray him, Yeshua’s first word to his betrayer was amazing, “Friend”. But he went on to die for all of us, even while we were yet sinners. On the cross or tree – his pained voice pleaded “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”. Flawless.
No other religion (to my knowledge) has their God coming to live among humanity as a human and then sacrificing Himself for his creation. But Yeshua did just that! Wow! What an awesome living God we have; what an impeccable son of God we have!! Hallelujah!!
It’s never our place to “grade” our Savior, and that’s not my intent here at all. But I think we’re long overdue for telling our Beloved King what we think of Him and His Passover.
Yeshua’s Father – who is now also our Father – was spectacular too on that Passover day almost 2000 years ago. He had 2 choices when it came to sin:
1 – Make us all pay our own death penalty for our sins and spare his perfect sinless son he loved so much
2 – Put all our sins and penalties on to his flawless son, making him be sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21), and make his Son pay the penalty and be whipped and crucified while we are forgiven the death penalty.
God the Father chose Option #2. This is how Yeshua could say in John 17 that our Father loves US as much as his own son Yeshua. He loved everyone in the world so much that he made the way of escape from eternal death possible by sending his only Son to live and die for us (John 3:16). His death reconciled us to Father, turned away his wrath due to our sins, and redeemed us from Satan. He paid the ultimate price for you and me and every human being who will accept him.
How on earth, or in heaven, God the Father restrained himself from just wiping out all life on this planet as we humans did awful things to his son, is beyond me. He personifies love and mercy.
So on Passover we focus on Jesus, on Yeshua – and rightly so, but it’s also a day that shows the indescribable love and patience of God the Father, God most High. Well done, Father, well done to you too, absolutely.
And now Yeshua, please allow us to appreciatively tell you after Passover, even as our eyes well up with tears of gratitude: “Well done, our King. Well done. You totally vanquished Satan’s hold on us, you smashed his head at the Place of the Skull. You saved our lives. Yes, you saved our lives. You bring us hope and an indescribable future. You’ve given us eternal life. You’re simply amazing! You’re our Lion as well as our Lamb. We can’t wait to meet you face to face to tell you personally how pleased and grateful – and yes, even proud of you – we are! We’re delighted to be on your team, to drink of your cup and eat of your bread of life. Praise YHVH! We love you. Thank you for your Passover, King Yeshua. You were perfect. You’re simply amazing. Thank you, Master. Well done, our King, well done indeed.”
After our Passover service, Carole and I played a dozen or more hymns that magnify God and Yeshua as I quietly lifted my hands in praise. Songs like Amazing Grace, How Great Thou Art, All Hail King Jesus, Crown him with many Crowns, Blessed Assurance, It is well with my soul, As the Deer, I love to Tell the Story and many more.
Then I stepped outside, looked up to the heavens and the bright full moon and once more thought, “The heavens declare the glory of God”. Next, I sat on God’s green grass in my back yard and meditated quietly about our awesome Savior. It was quiet, but my heart overflowed with love for what my Yeshua had just done. By his grace and his work I was able to come boldly before him and say, “thank you”.
Well done, Master, well done.