John 13:1-4 Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
John was so observant at the table and recorded all that was said and done at the Last Supper. Everything Jesus said and did meant something. John noted that after supper Jesus took off his garments and laid them aside. He then girded himself with a towel. The bread was there, the part left over from when Jesus blessed it and passed it around. The empty cup was there. Jesus had given instructions that all of it be drank. Laying aside the garments was symbolic. Truly it can be said that Jesus laid himself aside for everyone else. When he put the garments aside it signified work almost complete. It spoke of the love he had for us. He was willing to lay them aside so he could serve. The garments were laid aside so they wouldn’t be a hindrance to what he was about to do.
When we participate in Communion and foot washing we lay aside shoes and socks. We lay aside our pride and any inhibitions that hinder us. The feeling we get is one that only comes from heaven; we can’t get it any other way. When Jesus laid aside his garments it was for our sakes. We see the bread and cup. We eat the bread in remembrance of his broken body. The cup was passed for each to drink it all. It represents the new covenant of the New Testament in Jesus’ blood. His body was broken and his blood shed and we see what he laid aside for us.
To come here, Jesus laid aside garments of glory and took on swaddling clothes. Those were exchanged for the clothes of a carpenter’s son. When he stepped out in ministry, he laid those garments aside and took on traveling teacher garments. He went over the land forgiving sin and healing diseases. He wore them well. People could come to him because he had laid aside the glory. Peter, James and John got a glimpse of that glory on the Mount or Transfiguration. After that, he took back the garments of humanity. They became ripped and torn in Pilate’s hall. He wore them to Calvary where they were removed and gambled for. Jesus was ripped apart for us. His body was lacerated for us as he laid aside his body for us.
When we take communion and participate in foot washing we see what he laid aside to become sin for us, the just for the unjust. He suffered one time for our sins. He died one time and laid aside the garments of life for the garments of death. He was wrapped in a burial cloth. On the third day the angel announced he wasn’t there. The grave clothes were laid aside and he took on the garments of the resurrection.
The symbols lay on the table showing a Savior totally given for us. When he ascended from the Mount of Olives he once again took on the garments of glory and sat down at the Father’s right hand. We remember the garments he once wore for us. One of these days we’ll lay down the garment of flesh and get a body like the body of Jesus. By our partaking in Communion and foot washing let’s make our everyday a lying aside of self and putting on Jesus Christ and keeping him as Lord of our life.