A Worthy Passover

Dear Brethren,

We are to make a survey of our spiritual lives in order that we might take Passover in a worthy manner. One thing that we do as brethren of the Church of God is this:  Every year we pat ourselves on the back and give ourselves a passing grade with flying colors.  Are we absolutely certain that we meet that criteria – in other words, are we as ready and prepared as we can possibly be?  It behooves us to heed the words of Jesus Christ in Revelation 3 with regard to the state of the brethren at the very end-time.

"There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness." (Proverbs 30:12).

Strong words of disapproval.  That certainly is not the attitude we should have as we come close to Passover.  Let’s be frank with one another, after years of Christian living sermons explaining how we must let our light shine, the fruit of our lives is hardly distinguishable from those in the world.  Do we have the eyes to see that over the last few decades, the Church of God has slipped terribly away from the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude :3)?  As we prepare for Passover we need to be thinking about what it would take for us to be pure in God’s eyes.  Paul wrote it so clearly:

“Whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily [irreverently], shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.  For he that eats and drinks unworthily [irreverently], eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.”  (1 Corinthians 11:27-29)

We have only a short time to prepare.  The Church of God is not ready to take Passover in a worthy manner.  The seventh doctrine of Jesus Christ is, “Go on to perfection;” this is what we must be doing (Hebrews 6:1).  Anyone who assumes that they have attained to the perfect measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, underestimates the supreme perfection of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:13).  To what degree of excellence must the Church brethren attain in order not to take Passover unworthily?  What can we do to ensure that we will take it in a reverent manner?  There is precious little time remaining for us to get ready.

Why did Jesus wash the disciples’ feet, and why did He tie the footwashing command to the New Testament Passover? What spiritual lesson should we draw from the footwashing?  When Jesus said, "You also ought to wash one another's feet," He was giving us a most important command (John 13:14). Why must we wash the feet of others?  The footwashing means much more than merely humbling ourselves by washing the feet of others.

By His example, Jesus was teaching us to serve others just as He has served us.  The footwashing is about learning to serve one another in a spiritual way.  It’s serious.  Jesus said that if we do not learn the lessons, “thou hast no part with me." (John 13:8) The footwashing, when performed in the spirit in which Jesus established it, assures our place in the Body of Christ, the Family of God, the Kingdom of God and eternal life.

Though we were once washed at baptism, the footwashing symbolizes our renewed commitment to walk in the newness of life.  Because we are yet sinners, the yearly footwashing indicates our desire to "clean our slate," so to speak, in a reaffirmation of our baptismal vow.  But, this explains only having our own feet washed. We must wash the feet of others to learn a vital lesson (John 13:12-15).

In the same way that we want to be pure before God, He requires us to help other brethren to be clean before God in our common spiritual quest.  This is where we come short, because there are many brethren in other organizations that we totally forget about.  We must think that Jesus taught, "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for [some of] his friends. [while having nothing to do with those in other groups]" (John 15:12-13)  Jesus laid His life down for us, so we must be willing to lay our lives down for all others.  This is a perfect example of the spiritual application of the footwashing which defines our relationship with God and our fellow brethren.

We need to think of all the brethren, not with regard to the organization they attend or the man that they follow, but as a part of the one Body of Christ – with Him as the Head of the Church.

Sermon:  "A Worthy Passover"