The Triumph of a Humble King: To Wash Away the Remnants of the World

Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship – BLCF Church Message for Sunday:

‘The Triumph of a Humble King: To Wash Away the Remnants of the World

© April 9, 2017 by Steve Mickelson

BLCF Bulletin April 9, 2017

Announcements and Call to Worship; Prayer                                                         Opening Hymn #134: Hosanna, Loud Hosanna; Choruses                                   Prayer and Tithing Hymn #572: Praise God from Whom All Blessings             Responsive Reading #625: The Triumphal Entry (Matthew 21 and Mark 11)   

           

Let us pray…

Good morning and welcome to Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship’s Praise and Worship Service. Today, being Palm Sunday, where Christians observe the launch of Holy Week, leading to Good Friday, and culminating at Easter Sunday.

Speaking of Good Friday, as we have for the past several years, the BLCF Church congregation will join with members of the Toronto Vineyard in conducting a Communion Service to remember the great sacrifice and final given by our Lord to pay the debt owed for the sins of humanity.

For our lesson today, which bears the somewhat long, but self-explanatory title of ‘The Triumph of a Humble King: To Wash Away the Remnants of the World’, we will examine some of the significance and symbolism of the actions of Jesus, the disciples, and those gather at two of the significant events recorded in the days of Easter Week, just prior to the arrest and crucifixion of our Lord.

Those two events are: the account of Jesus riding to Jerusalem, on a colt or donkey, and later the account of Lord electing to wash the feet of his disciples just prior to the Passover meal.

In the Christian church, the Holy Week of Easter begins on Palm Sunday, a day where we observe the triumphal arrival of Jesus to Jerusalem just prior to his crucifixion, which we find in John 12:12-19 (ESV):

 The Triumphal Entry

12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,

15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, your king is coming,
sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. 17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. 18 The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”

Many of the actions of the Lord, including riding a donkey into Jerusalem, are fulfillment of prophecies found in the Old Testament, including 2 Kings 9:13 (ESV):

13 Then in haste every man of them took his garment and put it under him on the bare[a] steps, and they blew the trumpet and proclaimed, “Jehu is king.”

Footnotes: a. 2 Kings 9:13 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain

 Another example is found in Zechariah 9:9 (ESV):

 The Coming King of Zion

 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

 We see in Matthew’s account of Jesus arrival, that people in the crowd placed cloaks and tree branches upon the road in path of Jesus, as he rode upon the donkey.

Let us look at the significance of elements of this account, beginning with the use of the palm branch, which we find described at the site, jewishencyclopedia.com:

 

The Palm Branch

At BLCF Church This Palm Sunday 2012

HOSANNA – …The cry which the people of Jerusalem were accustomed to raise while marching in procession and waving branches of palm, myrtle, and willow in the joyous Sukkot festival, especially on the seventh day, when …the willow-branches of the “lulab” procession were piled up and beaten against the altar (Suk. iii. 9, iv. 5). The willow-branch thus received the name “hosha’na” (Suk. 30b, 31a, 34a, 37a, b, 46b); and the …carrying of the palm branches as described in I Macc. xiii. 51 and II Macc. x. 7.According to John xii. 13 (in the Sinaitic codex), which has the story preserved in its original form, the same cry was raised by…
ATTAH HORE’TA – …Tabernacles; and it appears also in the melody sung by the cantor while waving the palm-branch (Lulab) during the Ḥallel on the first days (LULAB – …Name given to the festive palm-branch which with the Etrog is carried and waved on the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot). The three constituents of the lulab are: (1) a shoot …twigs and willow-branches are tied to the lower end of the palm-branch—the former on the right, and the latter on the left—by means of three rings of palm-strips. These branches constitute with the etrog the “four …the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook: and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days.” Aside from the palm-branch and the willows the passage does not specify what shall be used; and the…
HALLEL – …is given out separately.On Sukkot the palm-branch is shaken in all directions while the first hemistich is chanted (“Hoshiahna”).Hallel is closed with this benediction: “O Lord, our God, may all …In the case of the Feast of Tabernacles the wavingof the palm-branch (see Lulab) is the most characteristic feature of the celebration of the festival; and consequently the…

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&keywords=Palm+Branch&commit=search

Some secular sources reference that, in the time of Christ, the Greeks awarded a palm branch to victorious athlete, while the Romans used either a palm frond or the palm tree to signify a military victory.

Since the arrival of Jesus was not associated with an athletic or military achievement, I think that it is safe to discard associating his arrival with either of the two. This conclusion is supported by the fact that in addition to the laying of  palm branches, the crowed also cried out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 

But what is meat when they say ‘Hosanna’? Let us again look at our online  reference source, jewishencyclopedia.com:

 Hosanna

Palm Sunday 2011 At Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship Church

HOSANNA – …the multitude on the occasion of Jesus’ arrival at Jerusalem. They “took branches of palm-trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord”—that is, the …verse following “Anna Adonai hoshi’ah-nna” in the Hallel psalm— and then called him “the King of Israel.” Luke (xix. 38), writing for the Gentiles, omits the palm-branches and the Hosanna cry, and changes the …combines the two versions, and changes the words of Luke into “Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh. . . . Hosanna in the highest,” the closing words of which no longer give any sense The same is…
SALVATION – …to release.”Hosanna. The underlying idea of all these words, save the last two, is help extended and made effective in …passionate appeal “Hoshi’ah-nna” (ib. verse 25; = “Hosanna”) ought to be rendered “Give victory,” a translation all the more assured by the certainty that the psalm is Maccabean. He who leads to victory in battle …the head of the army was greeted with the salutation “Hoshi’ah” = “Hosanna,” corresponding to (II Kings x. 19; Neh. ii. 3). This would appear from II Kings vi. 26, the…
HOSHA’NA RABBAH – …recited once in each Hosha’na service (the Hebrew for “save now” is here “Hoshi’ah-na,” which has come into English through Christian sources as “hosanna”>Hosanna”).

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&keywords=hosanna&commit=search

It seems that the crowd recognized that Jesus had arrived to bring victory and salvation to the Jews. But why did Jesus choose to arrive on a donkey? We get part of the answer from the following excerpts, taken from an article authored by Rebekah L. Holt:

Donkeys in the Bible

Rebekah L. Holt

 Christ as the King of Kings to enter in Jerusalem on a donkey was a lowly action.  In today’s terms, to select a donkey instead of a horse could be compared to a prince selecting a furniture delivery truck over a rare luxury sports car!   Historically, horses are the equine thrones of victorious Kings and Princes.  Haman in the book of Esther considered riding the king’s horse in fine clothes, to be attended by noblemen and to have personal praise heralded to a crowd to be a great honor.   Even today, we would expect such a procession of royalty.  Yet, in Jerusalem, to be astride a donkey was commonplace.  Donkeys typically served as everyday transportation, a long-eared daily sight to be seen in the streets.

 In following Christ’s example, when serving the Lord, our focus should be on obeying Him with lowliness and humility.

http://www.equest4truth.com/equus-in-the-bible/123-donkeys-in-the-bible

In addition to a degree of humility, the arrival of a king riding a donkey, rather than a horse or in a chariot signifies peaceful intentions of our Lord, an idea contrary to some who expected Jesus to lead an army against those who oppressed and persecuted the faithful.

One advantage to reading the historical account of the Lord’s arrival on that Psalm Sunday, is the fact we may fast forward a few days in that Passion or Easter week and read an account that describes where Jesus taught his disciples an important lesson about the way they should minister his Gospel to others, This account is found in John 13:1-20 (ESV):

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

 13 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 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!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet,[a] but is completely clean. And you[b] are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant[c] is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. 18 I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled,[d] ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ 19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he.20 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”                                                                         

Footnotes: a. John 13:10 Some manuscripts omit except for his feet b. John 13:10 The Greek words for you in this verse are plural c. John 13:16 Or bondservant, or slave (for the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface) d. John 13:18 Greek But in order that the Scripture may be fulfilled 

We may find an understanding of why Jesus sought to humble himself as a servant to wash the feet of his disciples in the following article found at   jewishencyclopedia.com:

Washing Of Feet

By: Emil G. HirschWilhelm NowackSolomon Schechter

Since the Israelites, like all other Oriental peoples, wore sandals instead of shoes, and as they usually went barefoot in the house, frequent washing of the feet was a necessity. Hence among the Israelites it was the first duty of the host to give his guest water for the washing of his feet (Gen. xviii. 4, xix. 2, xxiv. 32, xliii. 24; Judges xix. 21); to omit this was a sign of marked unfriendliness. It was also customary to wash the feet before meals and before going to bed (comp. Cant. V. 3); to abstain for a long time from washing them was a sign of deep mourning (II Sam. Xix. 24). Though there are no extant laws for laymen in regard to washing the feet, such laws for priests are given in Ex. Xxx. 19-21. There mention is made of brazen vessels, placed between the Tabernacle and the altar of burnt offering, in which the priests had to wash their hands and feet on entering the Tabernacle or before approaching the altar of burnt offerings: hence at all their priestly functions. Just as no one is allowed to approach a king or prince without due preparation, which includes the washing of the hands and feet, so the Israelite, and especially the priest, is forbidden in his unclean condition to approach Yhwh, for he who comes defiled will surely die.

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/6051-feet-washing-of

Jesus while literally washes the dust, remnants of the world, from the feet of the disciples, will soon go the cross to wash away all remnants of sin from humanity.

Let us talk about the “elephant in the room” which is sin, if you excuse the pun as a segue.

Christ sought to teach his disciples a ministry of humility by riding to Jerusalem on the back of a donkey and by washing the feet of the disciples. But these lessons also foreshadow our Lords impending death, where Jesus would pay the price for our sins by forfeiting his life to a brutal death on the cross, as the Apostle Paul described in Philippians 2:5-8 (ESV):

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a]6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,[b] but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[c] being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Footnotes: a. Philippians 2:5 Or which was also in Christ Jesus b. Philippians 2:6 Or a thing to be held on to for advantage c. Philippians 2:7 Or slave (for the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface)

Another translation of Philippians 2:5-8 goes as follows:

Let us pray…

Closing Hymn #349: May the Mind of Christ, My Savior

Benediction (Revelation 1:5b-6):                                                                            To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

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Jesus in Jerusalem: In like a Lion; Out like a Lamb

BLCF: Jesus-Picture-With-Lion-And-Lamb

Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship – BLCF Church Message for Sunday:

‘Jesus in Jerusalem: In like a Lion; Out like a Lamb’

© March 29, 2015, by Steve Mickelson

BLCF Bulletin March 29, 2015

BLCF:1holy_week

Announcements & Call to Worship: Responsive Reading # 625:                          

’The Triumphal Entry’ (Mark11; Matthew 21); Opening Prayer

Opening Hymn #131: All Glory, Laud, and Honor                                                  

Tithing and Prayers; Hymn #572: Praise God from Whom All Blessings; Prayer Requests

Today’s Scriptures: Zechariah 9:9, John 12:12-19, John 13:1-35

BLCF: Lion-or-Lamb-Which-Do-You-Need

Let us pray…

Good morning and the blessings Holy Spirit and the grace of our Saviour flow upon all of you, on this Palm Sunday morning. Our lesson today will focus on the challenge of understanding God’s plan and how He reveals the glory of that plan, through His son, Jesus.

But first, let me ask you this question: “Have you ever gone to a place, or an event, or met someone and find out what you see was totally different, from what you expected?” That is to say, what you experienced was radically different from anything that you anticipated?

I must admit that my answer to the question is: “Yes, not just once, but on many occasions.”

A perfect example would be the first time that I entered through the front doors of Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship. Based on the front façade, what initially looked like a small size church building of modest dimensions, turned out to be many times larger than I had expected. There have been occasions when I first meet someone, with whom I previously only spoke to by phone, only to be surprised that their appearance is radically different from what  I expected, based upon their voice. Many silent movie era actors could not transition to talkies, because their voice did not match the expectations based solely upon their screen image.

For those baseball fans old enough to remember, the intimidating stare that pitcher Dave Stewart gave from the mound during the years that he pitched for Toronto and Oakland. But Stewart, who now manages for Arizona, had a high, friendly voice and manner of speaking that was in stark contrast to his demeanor on the mound.

BLCF: dave-stewart

Dave Stewart

This is what happened to Jesus when the Lord arrived in Jerusalem. Based on their words and actions, the expectation of those who came to the city to participate in Feast of Passover and then gathered just outside the city to receive Jesus was quite different from both the prophecy in the Scriptures and the manner by which the Lord arrived at Jerusalem. While the crowd treated the Lord’s arrival in the manner of a bold king or lion, the manner of his arrival and surrender to the cross could best be described as a humble lamb. A sacrificial lamb.

To understand this discrepancy, let us review today’s Scripture verses. The first is Zechariah 9:9 (ESV), which gives a prediction of the arrival of Jesus to Jerusalem:

The Coming King of Zion

BLCF: king arrives on a donkey

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!     

Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!

Behold, your king is coming to you;     

righteous and having salvation is he,

humble and mounted on a donkey,     

on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

This single verse gives us a description of the arrival of a righteous king who brings salvation. The king will arrive riding upon a donkey. The prophecy of Jesus’ arrival that is described in Zechariah 9:9, is “fleshed out” in the account of the event stated in John 12:12-19 (ESV):

The Triumphal Entry

BLCF: Hosanna_hosanna_hosanna_in_the_highest

12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,

15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;

behold, your king is coming,     

sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. 17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. 18 The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”

The crowds called out: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” Other accounts in the Scripture record that the crowds placed palm fronds in front of the donkey that Christ rode to Jerusalem, hence the reason we call today Palm Sunday.

But what did the crowd mean when they shouted “Hosanna” to the Lord? For a better understanding, let us look at our Wikibits for the term “Hosanna”:

Wikipedia Definition: Hosanna

BLCF: hosanna-psalm-sunday_

The word hosanna (Latin osanna, Greek ὡσαννά, hōsanná) is from Hebrew הושיעה־נא, הושיעה נא hôshia-nā’ which is short for hôšî‘â-nā’ from Aramaic הושע נא meaning “save, rescue, savior”.[1]

In the Hebrew Bible it is used only in verses such as “help” or “save, I pray” (Psalms 118:25).

It is applied in numerous verses of the New Testament including “Hosanna; blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord” (Mark 11.9), “hosanna in the highest” (Mark 11.10); “hosanna to the Son of David” (Matt 21:9). The old interpretation “Save, now!”,[2] based on Psalm 118:25, does not fully explain the occurrence of the word in the Gospels as a shout of jubilation, and this has given rise to complex discussions.[3]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosanna

We get a clearer understanding of the meaning if hosanna from gotquestions.org:

Question: “What is the meaning of hosanna?”

Answer: Hosanna is a word used in some songs of praise, particularly on Palm Sunday. It is of Hebrew origin and was part of the shout of the multitudes as Jesus entered Jerusalem: “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Matthew 21:9).

Hosanna is often thought of as a declaration of praise, similar to hallelujah, but it is actually a plea for salvation. The Hebrew root words are found in Psalm 118:25, which says, “Save us, we pray, O LORD!” The Hebrew words yasha (“deliver, save”) and anna (“beg, beseech”) combine to form the word that, in English, is “Hosanna.” Literally, hosanna means “I beg you to save!” or “please deliver us!”

So, as Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem, the crowds were perfectly right to shout “Hosanna!” They were acknowledging Jesus as their Messiah, as shown in their address “Son of David.” Theirs was a cry for salvation and a recognition that Jesus is able to save. Later that day, Jesus was in the temple, and the children present were again shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (Matthew 21:15).

The chief priests and the teachers of the Law were displeased: “‘Do you hear what these children are saying?’ they asked him. ‘Yes,’ replied Jesus, ‘have you never read, “From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise”’?” (Matthew 21:16).

In saying, “Hosanna!” the people were crying out for salvation, and that’s exactly why Jesus had come. Within a week Jesus would be hanging on a cross.

http://www.gotquestions.org/hosanna.html

While in truth, Jesus did come to fulfill the Scriptures, as the Christ, the long-awaited Messiah, to deliver Israel. But is the rest of the prophecy was forgotten by both the crowd and even the disciples, was the manner by which the Lord would fulfill the prophecy of their deliverance. It seems that they expected Christ to deliver the People of Israel, in much the same way as had Moses and Joshua. There was the expectation of a leader who would wield the power and might of God to defeat Rome, the Scribes and Pharisees, and all others who threatened the faith of the People of Israel.

Jesus did come to defeat the greatest enemy of not only the People of Israel but all believers in the one true God. This enemy was not a Pharaoh, or an Emperor, or King, or an army, or a kingdom. To defeat this enemy did not require leading a mighty army, to march through open seas, to tear down the walls of a mighty city. For the enemy that the Lord defeated was the world’s judgment for our sins. Not just the sins of those people and of that day, but the sins of all people, for all time.

But the lesson that Christ taught came after Palm Sunday and before the day of his execution. The lesson that Christ taught the disciples, was like the sacrifice that he made, for all disciples, for all time, as we read in John 13:1-35 (ESV):

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

BLCF: Jesus washes desciples feet

13 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 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!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet,[a] but is completely clean. And you[b] are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant[c] is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. 18 I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled,[d] ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ 19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

One of You Will Betray Me

BLCF: Jesus-Passover-Lamb

21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. 23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side,[e] 24 so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus[f] of whom he was speaking. 25 So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30 So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

A New Commandment

BLCF: love_glimpse_of_heaven

31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Footnotes: a. John 13:10 Some manuscripts omit except for his feet b.John 13:10 The Greek c. words for you in this verse are plural d. John 13:16 Greek bondservant f. John 13:18 Greek But in order that the Scripture may be fulfilled g. John 13:23 Greek in the bosom of Jesus h. John 13:24 Greek lacks Jesus

In this passage of Scripture, the Lord sought to demonstrate the need for a humble perspective with respect to their relationship with God, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.

The message of the Gospel of Christ should be delivered to others with the same humility as a servant washing their master’s feet. This would be the same humility that the Lord demonstrated by traveling to Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, not riding a mighty steed or being on chauffeured on a chariot. It was through humble self-sacrifice, that Jesus allowed himself to be crucified in place of all sinners. He died for our sins that we may live through him. The disciples did not understand this as we read in John 12:16:

16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him.

When Peter asks the Lord “Why did he wash his feet, we see the reply in John 13:7:

 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”

And just as the Passover celebrates God’s judgment of death passing over the faithful, making them innocent of that judgment, this last supper was the first communion to celebrate the fact that through the Lord’s sacrifice on our behalf, God’s judgment for our sins passes over us, to His glory. Christ gave the first bread to Judas Iscariot, who was taken over by the spirit of Satan and then betray our Lord. Then our Lord instructed the remaining disciples to observe communion in remembrance of his sacrifice, until the day that he returns.

The glorification of our Lord did not occur at the time of his crucifixion, or at his resurrection, or even when he ascended to heaven. The glorification of Jesus took place in the Upper Room, immediately after Judas left to betray the Lord.

For it was after Judas Iscariot leaves the Upper Room, to betray the Lord that a chain of events is put into effect resulting in the arrest, condemnation, and death of Jesus. This marks the glorification, of both: God, the father and his son, Jesus, Who with the Spirit are one, as we read in John 13, beginning with verse 31:

A New Commandment

BLCF: faith hope and love

31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

As followers of Jesus, along with the disciples, we are instructed to love others in the same manner that the Lord loved us: sacrificially and humbly, so that we may demonstrate our confidence to his reply to our cry of Hosanna!

Let us pray…

BLCF: happypalmsunday

Hymn #63: All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name 

Benediction (Philippians 4:23): The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

BLCF: Palm Sunday