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Passover Footwashing
Service of 17-April-1981
by Herbert W. Armstrong

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as conducted by Herbert W. Armstrong
on the evening (after sunset) of 17-April-1981 (14-Nisan-5741)

Intro to Foot Washing

This is the most solemn ceremony or service of the year.  It is my 55th Passover.

I'm quite sure that must be a little larger number than any of you have.  God ordained the Passover forever when the Children of Israel were in Egypt -- thousands of years ago now.

But at Jesus' last Passover that He observed, during His Earthly Ministry, we reat that [Luke 22:7]:

Lu 22:7  Then came the day of Unleavend Bread, when the Passover must be killed.

Now the day of Unleavened Bread, actually the day that had arrived at sunset that night was the preparation day for getting leaven out of the home preceding the seven Days of Unleavened Bread.  It of itself was not one of the Days of Unleavened Bread, but the day on which all leaven should be put out.  And he said to peter and John (continuing in verse 8)

Lu 22:8 … Go and prepare us the Passover, that we may eat.

(Verse 14)

Lu 22: 14 And when the hour was come, He sat down and the twelve apostles with him.
15 And He said unto them, With desire have I desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.  for I say unto you that I will not anymore eat thereof until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God....

-- indicating that we will continue the Passover in the Kingdom of God after the coming of Christ. 

Now Jesus changed the symbols of the Passover from eating the roast body of a Lamb, after its blood had been shed and the Lamb had been killed, to the Bread and the Wine.

So that we read now in Matthew 26,

Mt 26:26  And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed [it], and brake [it], and gave [it] to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

So that the broken bread represented His broken Body -- broken for us.

Mt 26:27 And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave [it] to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28 For this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
29 But I say unto you, I will not drink [hereafter or] henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.
30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

Of course, there, Jesus talked with them a while.  He went apart and prayed.  He almost weakened when He realized what was going to happen, and that the hour had come, and the time and the day had come, and He had to face it now.

But that lasted on through the night.  He was taken into various places and tried by the Government officials and by the Jewish officials, and was condemned to death.

Now in John 13, (verse 2):

Joh 13:2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's [son], to betray him;
3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
4 He riseth from supper….

It had been a supper when they ate roast Lamb up to this time.  This was the last supper.

Now Jesus was to change it from eating a meal into merely the bread and the wine which we shall take here tonight.

Joh 13:4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
  5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe [them] with the towel wherewith he was girded.
  6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?
  7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.
  8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. [And] Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
  9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also [my] hands and [my] head.
10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash [his] feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.
11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for [so] I am.
14 If I then, [your] Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

The washing of their feet was an act of humility.

In those days, they wore open sandals.  The roads were dusty.  They probably didn't have cement sidewalks to walk on.

A servant would take off a guest's slippers or sandals when he came in at the door of the house and would wash his feet -- after which the guest would probably put on other sandals that were there waiting and clean for the guest.

In other words, the Host would always have some extra sandals for guests to wear.  The people of Japan still do something like that in their country.

Now I have gone into homes in Japan where I had to take off my shoes and put on slippers of some kind that were there at the home for guests to use when coming into the house.

But it is an act of humility.  Jesus was their Lord and Master and he stooped to do this to them.

Joh 13:16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if you do them.

So now, at this time we will leave and have the Foot-Washing Service.

And, I think you know I have not -- as I said, I have not participated in the Passover here at this place for some years, but I'm sure you all know just where to go.

And, there should be no converstaion, no talking, but quietly go and then return as quickly as possible.