As I sit here pondering the cross, thinking about what Jesus had to go through for all of mankind, I am drawn to the foot of the cross. His feet. His dirty, bloody, nail pierced feet that carried away our sins. Jesus chose the cross, He went in obedience to the Father but also because He knew that without His sacrifice, NOT ONE would be in heaven today! As in the Old Testament, we would still be going to a temple to sacrifice unblemished animals to atone for our sins. Can you imagine with the population of the world today, how much blood that would be? Just imagine Metro St. Louis, with an estimated population of over 300,000, what that would be like. Now imagine Delhi, India, with an estimated population of 16.75 Million! Are you getting a visual of how many unblemished animals, priest, towels, and water to clean up all the blood sacrificed to have a right relationship with God?
This is why I am in awe of His precious feet that carried away our sins...Jesus could have came in an instant as a grown man, went straight to the cross to die and then rose from the dead three days later. Boom, done! No secret betrayals, humiliation of carrying the cross, beatings, suffering, just a simple death that freed us all from sin. But instead; He came from Heaven, was born in a manger, learned to walk like us, talk like us, and experienced all the pains of childhood like us. As He grew older, He learned from his mother and His earthly father taught him the family business. He read and learned from the scriptures of old. I am sure He experienced teasing from other youth, and also the joys of growing up with strong family bonds.
When it was time for Jesus to begin His ministry; His feet carried Him on the dusty roads of Nazareth, near the shores of Galilee, to Bethany by way of the Jordan river which is where He stepped in to the waters to be baptized. He was then lead into the Judean wilderness for forty days. He walked throughout the regions of Galilee, Judea and Samaria. He walked up mountains to be alone with His Father. He stood on the raging sea. He taught in temples, in homes and on sea shores. People flocked to wherever His feet landed; those who believed He was the Messiah and those who would reject Him.
His feet lead Him to the outcasts; the crippled, blind, deaf, prostitutes, lepers, and demon possessed. He performed miracles in front of their eyes. He was lead to broken sinners wanting to be freed from the chains that bound them. His feet lead Him to the dead and He raised them to life. Oh, how beautiful His precious feet that were stained with dirt, tears and blood...
He entered Jerusalem where people threw palm branches at His feet. He wept for He knew that most would not believe in Him. His feet were washed with tears,dried with hair and anointed with oil. He was then lead to the Garden of Gethsemane where He cried out to His Father for His will to be done. He was betrayed with a kiss and lead away in shackles, beaten and mocked. He carried our humility and shame, our guilt and burdens. He carried our sins as He walked the long, dusty road to the place of Golgotha.
Imagine with me the pain He endured. The blazing sun beat down upon Him and sweat began to stream down His shredded flesh! I am sure he wept, for He experienced excruciating pain. But the spiritual pain He endured was far worse than the physical pain. He was broken because He took on the stench of sin, the punishment of being separated from His Father. The Holy Son of God, who NOT ONCE sinned. The Unblemished Sacrifice became blemished, distorted for US!
How beautiful the feet of our Savior! He didn't stop and cry out, "Father take me home now. I give up!" Instead, He willingly laid down His life and cried out, "Father, forgive them they don't understand what they are doing." (Luke 23:34). And then cried out with His last breathe, "It is finished!"(John 19:30). Three days after His burial, He triumphantly walked out of the tomb ALIVE, defeating death and the power of darkness! He didn't stop there. He walked and talked with people to prove He was alive and that the grave could not keep Him, for He is GOD! Thousands witnessed His steps after the crucifixion!
As His beautiful, nail pierced feet stood on the mountain near Galilee, He spoke His final words to all of His followers before He ascended to heaven, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always to the end of the age."(Matthew 28:18-20).
We, His disciples, should walk as He walked. Are you following the footsteps of our Savior? Have you taken up your cross? He did say, "And whoever doesn't take up your cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me." (Matthew 10:38)
*Bible references found in HCSB throughout the four Gospels*