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From Heaven With Love

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    Why Christ Instituted This Religious Service

    After Christ had washed the disciples’ feet, He said: “Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call Me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 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.”HLv 437.2

    That His people might not be misled by the selfishness which dwells in the natural heart, Christ Himself set the example of humility. He Himself, equal with God, acted as servant to His disciples. He to whom every knee shall bow, bowed down to wash the feet of those who called Him Lord. He washed the feet of His betrayer.HLv 437.3

    God does not live for Himself. He is constantly ministering for others. Jesus was given to stand at the head of humanity, that by His example He might teach what it means to minister. He served all, ministered to all. Thus He lived the law of God, and by His example showed how we are to obey it.HLv 437.4

    Having washed the disciples’ feet, Jesus said, “I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” In these words Christ was instituting a religious service. By the act of our Lord this humiliating ceremony was made a consecrated ordinance. It was to be observed by the disciples, that they might ever keep in mind His lessons of humility and service.HLv 437.5

    This ordinance is Christ's appointed preparation for the sacramental service. While pride, variance, and strife for supremacy are cherished, we are not prepared to receive the communion of His body and His blood. Therefore Jesus appointed the memorial of His humiliation to be first observed.HLv 437.6

    There is in man a disposition to esteem himself more highly than his brother, to work for self, to seek the highest place; and often this results in evil surmisings and bitterness. The ordinance preceding the Lord's Supper is to bring man out of his selfishness, down from self-exaltation, to the humility of heart that will lead him to serve his brother. The holy Watcher from heaven is present to make this season one of soul searching, conviction of sin, and the assurance of sins forgiven. Christ is there to change the current of thoughts that have been running in selfish channels.HLv 438.1

    As the Saviour's humiliation for us is remembered, a chain of memories is called up, memories of God's goodness and of the favor and tenderness of earthly friends. Blessings forgotten, kindnesses slighted are called to mind. Defects of character, neglect of duties, ingratitude, coldness, are called to remembrance. The mind is energized to break down every barrier that has caused alienation. Sins are confessed; they are forgiven. The subduing grace of Christ draws hearts together. The desire is kindled for a higher spiritual life. The soul will be uplifted. We can partake of the Communion with the sunshine of Christ's righteousness filling the soul temple.HLv 438.2

    To those who receive the spirit of this service, it can never become merely ceremonial. Whenever this ordinance is rightly celebrated, the children of God covenant that the life shall be given to unselfish ministry for one another. The world is full of those who need our ministry. Those who have communed with Christ in the upper chamber will go forth to minister as He did.HLv 438.3

    “If you know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”HLv 438.4

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