Sermon Transcript – The Cross Teaches us to Follow Christ’s Example of Humility

Series B – Maundy Thursday – Thursday, April 1, 2021 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
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Time StampTranscript
0:28the holy gospel according to saint john
0:30the 13th chapter
0:32glory to you o lord now before the feast
0:36of the passover when Jesus knew that his
0:38hour had come
0:39to depart out of this world to the
0:42having loved his own who were in the
0:45he loved them to the end during supper
0:48when the devil had already put it into
0:50the heart of judas iscariot simon’s son
0:52to betray him Jesus knowing that the
0:55father had given all things into his
0:58and that he had come from god and was
1:00going back to god
1:01he rose from supper he laid aside his
1:04outer garments
1:05taking a towel tied it around his waist
1:08and then he poured water into a basin
1:11and began to wash the disciples feet and
1:13to wipe them with the towel that was
1:15wrapped around him
1:17he came to simon peter who said to him
1:19lord do you wash
1:20my feet Jesus answered him what i am
1:24doing you do not understand now but
1:26afterwards you will understand
1:28peter said to him you shall never wash
1:31my feet
1:32Jesus answered him if i do not wash you
1:35you do
1:36you have no share with me simon peter
1:39said to him
1:40lord not my feet only but also my hands
1:44and my head
1:45and Jesus said to him the one who has
1:48bathed does not need to wash except for
1:50his feet
1:52but it is but is completely clean
1:55and you are clean but not every one of
1:58for he knew who was to betray him that
2:01was why he said
2:02not all of you are clean when he had
2:04washed their feet
2:06and put on his outer garments and
2:08resumed his place he said to them
2:10do you understand what i have done to
2:12you you call me
2:13teacher and lord and you are right
2:17for i am if then your lord and your
2:20teacher have washed your
2:22feet you also ought to wash one
2:25another’s feet
2:26for i’ve given you an example that you
2:28also should do just as i have done to
2:30truly truly i say to you a servant is
2:33not greater than his master
2:35nor is a messenger greater than the one
2:37who sent him
2:38if you know these things blessed are you
2:41if you do them
2:42now is now is the son of man glorified
2:45and god is glorified in him if god is
2:48glorified in him god will also glorify
2:50him in himself and glorify him at once
2:53little children yet a little while and i
2:55am with you
2:56you will seek me and just as i have said
2:59to the jews so now i also say to you
3:01where i am going you cannot come a new
3:04commandment that i give to you
3:05that you love one another just as i have
3:08loved you
3:09you are also to love one another by this
3:11all people will know that you are my
3:14if you have love for one another this is
3:17the gospel of the lord
3:18in the name of Jesus amen
3:24these are tough words to read
3:28as a lutheran and as a lutheran pastor
3:31and theologian and
3:32apologist over and again i am taught
3:35to make the proper distinction between
3:37god’s law
3:38and god’s gospel and here we see
3:42the two mixed together so tightly
3:46that it’s almost impossible to tease
3:48them out properly
3:49and so instead let’s consider some of
3:51the major things that are happening here
3:54number one i understand that today is
3:56called monday
3:57thursday and Jesus observance of the
4:01passover meal the one where the passover
4:04the types and shadows give way to the
4:06substance to which they were always
4:08pointing to
4:09pointing to Christ in his blood and his
4:12blood on each and every one of us
4:14that causes the wrath of god to pass
4:17over us
4:18and for us to be saved that’s what the
4:20blood of Christ
4:21does that on this last night knowing
4:25that he’s about to die it is already
4:27gone from thursday
4:29to friday for when the sun sets in the
4:33jewish way of keeping time
4:34going all the way back to the book of
4:37genesis where it says
4:38there was evening and there was morning
4:40the first day
4:42there was evening there was morning the
4:44second day
4:46all the way through the days of creation
4:48and so now the sun has set
4:51and Christ’s friday has already begun
4:56if you think of it this way if the
4:58doctor were to tell you
5:00the diagnosis is dire you’re going to
5:04you have weeks to live you need to get
5:07your affairs in order
5:09what would you do what would be on your
5:13bucket list i mean isn’t that what we
5:16call them bucket lists
5:18would you clear out part of your savings
5:22and finally take that cruise that you’d
5:24always wanted to do
5:25but had kept putting off for year after
5:28year after year
5:30would you stop doing everything and
5:33your last days with your family
5:36or would you want to go on some
5:39adventure while you still had what
5:40remained of your health
5:43you see over and again we think about
5:44things like this when we have so little
5:47it’s it’s interesting that there is no
5:50right or wrong
5:50answer there is no standard thing that
5:53we can point to
5:55but Jesus’s bucket list
5:59the thing that he wanted to do the very
6:03with his disciples involved an actual
6:08a wash bucket and when you consider what
6:11is going on here it’s
6:12vital that we pay attention
6:16we live in a world that values
6:19power that rewards greed
6:23that looks longingly and
6:27somewhat trustingly at people who are
6:30and over and again we know that in our
6:33experiences it’s a good idea
6:36to set expectations properly
6:39so that people do not well get upset
6:43because what you told them you were
6:45going to do is not
6:46what you ended up doing you know i
6:49remember in the corporate world
6:50when i was doing my mba i was told over
6:53and over
6:54and over again communicate communicate
6:58and communicate some more
7:00don’t ever stop communicating what the
7:03corporation’s mission and vision
7:05is don’t ever stop communicating what
7:08the goals
7:09are for the immediate short term don’t
7:11stop communicating how each and every
7:13person then
7:14plays a role in achieving those
7:17don’t stop communicating because as soon
7:20as you stop
7:21communicating people’s expectations seem
7:24to drift
7:25and they seem to wander have you ever
7:28taken your car in for service and the
7:32behind the counter says yeah we’ll take
7:33a look at your car we’ll have it ready
7:35for you sometime this afternoon
7:38and the afternoon rolls around and you
7:40don’t get a call from the
7:41service guy and those
7:45hours starts getting later and later and
7:46it’s getting towards at closing time
7:49they have not met your expectations
7:52because the expectation that they
7:54was that they would have the vehicle for
7:58no problem sometime in the afternoon
8:01and so you oftentimes when you have
8:05set like that you rightly get annoyed
8:08maybe a little bit angry or perturbed
8:10when people
8:12lead you to believe that one thing is
8:13going to happen but then the other
8:15happens and so it’s important for us to
8:17note that here on Jesus’s bucket list he
8:20pulls out a bucket
8:21and in order and the reason why he’s
8:23pulling out this bucket
8:24is to set extra expectations
8:28properly and we would do wise to pay
8:31attention to the expectations that
8:33Christ has given us
8:35because you’ll note contrary to popular
8:38Christ is not telling his disciples to
8:41their best lives now he is not
8:45setting an expectation to teach them
8:47that what they really need to do
8:49is take their prince and princess
8:52and go and take territory that they are
8:56decree command control and all this kind
8:58of stuff
9:00instead he does something that is
9:03well unexpected and we would do wise to
9:07pay attention
9:08to the expectations that Christ has left
9:10us with
9:11because these are the last words that he
9:15these are the last this is the last
9:17lesson that the disciples
9:18hear and it’s not a parable it’s not
9:22anything like that this is something
9:24completely different last
9:26last this this is the last lesson to set
9:30as far as what we all of all disciples
9:33of Christ should expect
9:35and so our text says before the feast of
9:37the passover
9:39when Jesus knew that his hour had come
9:41to depart out of the world
9:43he was departing to the father having
9:45loved his own who were in the world
9:47he loved them to the end
9:51at no point does Christ love for his
9:55flag or fail or come up short
9:58in fact the best most loving thing that
10:01he can do for his disciples is exactly
10:03what he does
10:04that night that friday evening because
10:08friday had already come so during the
10:10supper when the devil had already put it
10:12in the heart of jews
10:13iscariot simons to betray him Jesus
10:16knowing that the father had given all
10:18into his hands that he had come from god
10:21he was going back to god he rose from
10:24the supper
10:26and he laid aside his outer garments
10:29and then taking a towel
10:32he tied it around his waist
10:37you can hear the silence even today
10:42the only thing you heard at this point
10:45maybe were gasps
10:50the sloshing of the water in the bucket
10:53the sponge or the cloth that he was
10:56going to use
10:58and everybody looked on
11:01as the rightful king of israel
11:05rather than dressed in robes of purple
11:08and wearing a crown
11:10had taken all of his clothes off and
11:13went down to a waist towel
11:18took on the uniform of the lowliest of
11:20the slaves
11:24he poured water into a basin and he
11:27began to wash the disciples feet
11:32this is our god
11:35this is the king of kings and lord of
11:39what is he doing on the ground
11:42he makes it clear why he’s there we’d be
11:44wise to pay attention
11:48so he began to wash the disciples feet
11:50to wipe them with the towel that was
11:51wrapped around him
11:54he came to simon peter and he said to
11:58lord do you wash my feet
12:02peter’s indignant it’s akin to what
12:05we heard when Jesus took the disciples
12:08to caesarea philippi and ask them who do
12:10the people say the son of man is
12:14peter got the answer right you’re the
12:16Christ the son of god
12:18and no sooner does Jesus praise him that
12:22Jesus begins to explain we’re heading to
12:25i’m going to be arrested i’m going to be
12:28i’m going to die and rise again and what
12:32does peter say
12:33lord this will never happen to you
12:38and peter is right on the verge of that
12:40right here
12:41just on the verge of that that first
12:43time he defied peter in this way and
12:46Jesus i’m sorry he defied Jesus and
12:49rebuked him Jesus said get behind me
12:52so now you can just see it this is not
12:55he was expecting
12:59lord do you wash my feet
13:04Jesus answered him what i’m doing you do
13:07not understand now
13:09afterwards you will you’ll understand
13:15so peter digs in you will
13:18never wash my feet
13:22it’s unbecoming how can the alpha the
13:26omega the beginning the end the one who
13:28spoke the universe into existence
13:31be behaving like the lowliest of the
13:33lowest slaves
13:35but Jesus said to him if i do not wash
13:38you you have no share with me
13:45you can feel the tension just in the
13:52so peter acquiesces
13:57and you can almost hear the catch in his
14:00he’s a fisherman so i’m probably not
14:03going to cry
14:05but he’s on the verge
14:09lord not my feet only
14:12but also my hands and my head if you’re
14:14going to watch me lord watch
14:16me thoroughly you can almost hear
14:20the psalmist wash me thoroughly with
14:24blot out my transgressions lord
14:28take not your holy spirit from me but
14:31the Jesus says to him the one who has
14:33bathed does not need to wash except for
14:35his feet
14:36it is com and then he is completely
14:38clean and here Jesus isn’t giving us the
14:41mode of baptism
14:42but making a point and that is is that
14:45before they came into the upper room
14:47that night
14:48they would have already had their feet
14:51it wasn’t because they needed their feet
14:54cleaned again that Jesus was doing what
14:56he was doing
14:57instead he was pointing to something
14:59bigger that was going on and i love in
15:01the writings of the church fathers
15:03how they see the fact that Christ is
15:05washing their feet
15:06they see it as a picture of baptism
15:10but more importantly than that they see
15:11the fact that Jesus is washing their
15:14as if Jesus is shodding their feet
15:17with what is necessary to keep them from
15:20being bitten by the serpent while he’s
15:22crushing its head
15:23it’s not a bad way to look at it
15:27so Jesus says to peter then you are
15:30but not every one of you referring to
15:32judas who was still in the room
15:34he knew who was going to betray him and
15:37that is why he said not all of you are
15:39so when he had washed their feet and put
15:41on his outer garments and resumed his
15:43place he said to them
15:45now note this is a object lesson do you
15:48understand what i have done for you
15:52he doesn’t let them answer he’s going to
15:54let them kind of
15:56work it out sort through it
15:59and he says this you call me teacher and
16:02you call me lord
16:04and you are right for so i am that’s who
16:08am if then your lord and your teacher
16:12have washed your feet you also ought to
16:16wash one another’s
16:17feet and here’s where we got to pay
16:20close attention
16:21foot washing isn’t a sacrament and what
16:23Christ is talking about here
16:26is their attitude towards each other
16:30their attitude in their position of
16:33apostles having been sent by Christ
16:36you’ll note that it is the exact
16:38opposite of what we get today from
16:40vision casting leaders
16:42and for many men who are who are rightly
16:44called into the pastoral office
16:46they lord authority over others and
16:49think that their
16:50job is to be served but Jesus is saying
16:54no none of that for i have given you as
16:57an example that you should do
16:59just as i have done for you and we can
17:02hear then the echoes of what
17:04paul writes for us in philippians
17:06chapter 2
17:07that our attitude should be the same as
17:09Christ Jesus
17:10who who being the very nature of god did
17:12not consider
17:13equality with god a thing to be grasped
17:16but he humbled himself
17:17and was found in the form of a slave
17:20and was obedient to the point of death
17:22even death on the cross
17:25this is what it means to deny yourself
17:29to take up your cross daily
17:32and to follow Jesus
17:35put aside your ambitions put aside your
17:38lust for power
17:40put it all away you want to follow Jesus
17:44take on the uniform of a slave
17:49and do just as Jesus has done serve
17:53serve from the bottom so truly truly i
17:57say to you a servant is not greater than
17:59his master
18:00and this is most certainly true Jesus is
18:03our lord he’s our teacher he’s
18:06our master i’m not greater than him and
18:10neither are you
18:11nor is a messenger greater than the one
18:14who sent him
18:15and you’ll note we have a message to
18:17proclaim to the world
18:18the good news that Christ has died for
18:20our sins
18:21that he has reconciled us to the father
18:24but we’re just mere messengers
18:29we are not the master so if you know
18:32these things
18:33blessed are you if you do them
18:37humble yourself and so you’ll note then
18:42that with these very words Christ then
18:45gives one last command a new commandment
18:47to his disciples
18:49i’m going to give it to you that you
18:52one another but in what way lord
18:56what do you mean you want me to love
18:59everyone else to love them to love one
19:02another what does that mean
19:03for us and Jesus then grounds it
19:06he gives it a stake he gives it an
19:08anchoring a foothold a definition
19:10something by which we can measure our
19:14for each other just as i have loved you
19:18you also want to love
19:22one another how has Jesus loved us
19:27no greater love has this that one lay
19:31down his life
19:33for his friends Jesus
19:36has loved us sacrificially
19:40he has loved us by not lording over us
19:43he has loved us by serving us
19:46so just as Christ has loved us we are to
19:49one another and by this all people will
19:51know that you are
19:53my disciples if you have love for one
19:57but you’re going to know then and this
19:59is where i have to
20:01i have to preach the law this is where
20:05so many of us have fallen short
20:08the church today is not known as the
20:12where people go to be loved
20:15the place where they go to be loved by
20:18one another
20:19the place where they can go to be served
20:22to serve to love to be
20:26loved instead the church today
20:29is known for its greed it’s known for
20:32its avarice
20:34it’s known for its gossip it’s known for
20:37its slander
20:38it’s known for its hypocrisy
20:42which kind of begs the question
20:45if people are going to know that we’re
20:46disciples of Christ by how we
20:49love one another
20:55is that happening
21:00is that happening here
21:04is that happening with the people
21:07closest to you
21:09and so you’ll note then
21:13that on this night the night that Christ
21:16is betrayed we again recognize that we
21:21have fallen short of the glory of god
21:24we have not loved our lord with all of
21:26our heart soul mind and strength
21:30we’ve not loved our neighbors as Christ
21:33has loved us we haven’t even loved the
21:36saints the way Christ has loved the
21:39and so this speaks volumes
21:42volumes of guilt rightly earned
21:46and so this last night really the last
21:50bits the last hours before the close
21:55of lent consider then all the ways in
21:58which we have failed to love each other
22:01the way Christ has loved us that we have
22:04sought our own vain glory and power and
22:10rather than humbly putting on the
22:12uniform of a slave and serving from the
22:16recognizing that Christ set the
22:18expectations he told us what to do
22:21and that is to consider no one greater
22:23than ourselves
22:26or consider everyone greater than
22:27ourselves and not consider ourselves
22:29greater than anyone else
22:31and let us repent then of all
22:34the ways in which we have behaved as
22:38rather than slaves and let us cry out
22:41then the same words as peter lord then
22:43wash me
22:45wash all of me and note this then
22:49that Christ has less than 24 hours to
22:52and he is going to the cross and he has
22:55gone to the cross
22:56he has carried your sins and mine he has
23:00your iniquity and mine he has carried
23:03the shame of us all
23:05and he spilled his blood
23:08he served all the way to the end
23:11even of his own life because it says in
23:14this text that he loved them
23:16to the end and the reality is this he’s
23:19loved you
23:20to the end as well you are his disciples
23:23you have been washed in the waters of
23:25baptism you’ve been united with him in
23:27his death in his resurrection
23:29you have been loved to the end by Christ
23:32who came not to be served but to serve
23:35and to lay down his
23:36life as a ransom as a ransom for many
23:38for you and for me
23:39and for the world so this monday
23:43thursday on the eve of Christ’s
23:46as we get ready to ponder them in real
23:48time tomorrow
23:50note that he has even died for all the
23:52ways in which you have
23:53terribly loved other people or failed to
23:56love them properly
23:58and may we repent of this and may he
24:01grant us repentance
24:03true contrition and through the power of
24:05the holy spirit
24:08true sanctification so that we may grow
24:11in love towards god and in love towards
24:13each other
24:15so that his words may be true in us
24:19that by this loving of one another
24:23other people may know that we have been
24:26with Christ
24:27that we are truly his disciples because
24:30we have laid aside our ambition
24:32we have humbled ourselves taken up
24:36our crosses consider ourselves to be the
24:39walking dead
24:40and followed Christ who laid down his
24:44so that you and I could live in the name
24:46of Jesus
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