John 13:5 (NKJV) 5 After that, He (Jesus) poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
This verse reveals several things to us. In this post I am going to discuss two points. The first point that I will draw your attention to is that Jesus did the work. This is the difference between Old and New Covenant thinking. Let me show you the difference.
The Old Testament says in Genesis 43:24 (NKJV), "So the man brought the men into Joseph's house and gave them water, and they washed their feet..." This Old Testament verse reveals to us that they had to wash their own feet. In the Old Testament, man had to make himself clean and earn righteousness. In the New Testament, Jesus did the washing.
Now let's look at the second point. The verse at the top of this post tells us how Jesus washes us. Take notice that He used the towel with which He was girded. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:14 (NKJV), "Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness." It says here to have your waist girded with truth. The towel that Jesus was girded with represents truth.
So what is the truth? This last verse we quoted from Ephesians is perhaps a little more revealing to us in a more modern translation of the Bible. I like how the New Living Translation puts it. This translation says in Ephesians 6:14 (NLT), "Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness." We are righteous because we are wrapped in God's righteousness instead of our own. This is the truth we need to be washed with.
The New Covenant of grace is so much more powerful than the Old Covenant of law. No matter what goes on in our lives we are clothed in flawless righteousness. In the eyes of God we cannot fail. Something really amazing happens when we lose the fear of failing. We don't fail! If you are struggling with some sort of sin, stop looking at the sin. Instead look at the fact that you can stand in a place where sin cannot stand. In the presence of God.
Spend time with God. Talk to Him the same way you talk to a good friend. Spend time studying His Word. In this way you will keep your mind on good things while God takes care of the bad things. Let Him do the work in you.