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Spiritual Wing - Happy Easter!

Have you ever washed someone elseís feet? Thatís a very strange question for me to ask at this Easter time isnít it? But itís a very important question to ask ourselves, as it prompts us to think about serving others, giving ourselves for others and humbling ourselves for the sake of others. It also helps us to understand a little about the person who is at the very centre of the Christian faith, Jesus Christ.

Jesus washed his disciplesí feet when he met with them to share a meal together. The Bible tells us that he got up from the meal, ...and began to wash his disciplesí feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped round him. You can read the full account of what happened in John 13:1-17.

Washing his disciplesí feet was a perfect lesson in humility and service to others. But there was more. Jesusí greatest act of self-sacrifice came a short while later when he allowed himself to be nailed upon an ugly wooden cross where he suffered an agonising death. Crucifixion was the most brutal, painful, agonising and humiliating way to die and yet Jesus allowed himself to die that awful death.

But there was more. The Bible tells us that three days after his death on the Cross he rose from the dead, appeared to his disciples and then ascended into heaven. (All this happened about 2,000 years ago).

But why did Jesus suffer in that way? Why didnít he just run away from the Roman soldiers and others who wanted to see him dead? Why didnít he call upon a host of angels to rescue him and lead him to safety? After all, the Bible tells us that he is the Son of God so it wouldnít have been difficult for Jesus to save himself.

The answers to these questions are central to the Christian faith. The Bible tells us that Jesus loves us deeply and came to earth from heaven to save men, women, boys and girls from Godís punishment for all the wrong things they have done and continue to do. The Bible calls this sin and tells us that all mankind is sinful. When Jesus went to the Cross he shed his blood and his life and suffered the punishment for our sins on our behalf.

There is more. Jesus Christ, having died upon the Cross for all our sins, invites each man, woman and child to turn from their wrongdoing and accept him as their personal Lord and Saviour. The wonderful thing is that when someone says sorry and repents of their sins (turns away from them) and accepts Jesus in this way, God no longer sees that personís sin but he sees Jesus because of his death upon the Cross on our behalf. Isnít that wonderful?! And God then forgives our sins and promises to make us a new person.

The Bible also makes it clear that there is only one way to God and that is through Jesus. John 14:6 says: "I (Jesus) am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me."

This is an extraordinary claim for Jesus to make. He claims to be not one of many ways to God, but the way to God. The only way to God. It also means that any effort we make to be good in order to gain Godís favour is meaningless. Christians throughout the ages have come to Christ in faith, believing his claim to be the only way to God. That includes me, everyone in my church and Christians throughout our nation and world.

The amazing thing is that Jesus is calling you right now to turn from your sins, receive him by faith as Lord and Saviour and trust, follow and obey him throughout your life. In return, he promises that he will bless you with his Holy Spirit and guide and help you as you walk with him in the days ahead. He does not promise you an easy life and there will be difficulties and obstacles along the way. But he promises to change you and help you through this life, give you purpose and he promises you eternal life in heaven when you die.

This Easter time, join with other Christians and remember on Good Friday Jesusí death on the Cross for your sins and my sins. On Easter Sunday join us in thanking him for rising from the dead to offer all people new life in him. And then respond to his invitation to turn from your sins and accept him as your Lord and Saviour. Donít delay.

May this Easter be your best ever as you respond positively to Jesus. Happy Easter!

(You can read more about Jesus and the new life he offers in the four Bible Gospels Ė Matthew, Mark, Luke and John).

Stephen Bechervaise, Wootton Bassett Community Church