The Third Last Word From The Cross
The Third Last Word From The Cross:
“I am thirsty”
When you think about the character of Christ what comes into your mind first?
What is your favourite drink? Who drinks a lot of water? Most experts agree that we should drink about eight or nine glasses of water a day. Water is essential to life
Recap last four weeks.
- Week One – Father forgive them for they know not what they do – Forgiveness
- Week Two – Truly I say to you, today you will be in paradise – Salvation
- Week Three – Dear Woman here is your son, and to the disciple he said “Here is your mother” – Compassion
- Week Four – My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? – Anguish
So Christ is on the cross, He has just experienced the anguish of being separated for the first time from Father God. The pain of that separation caused him to cry out, in a loud voice, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.
We know the sky went dark in the middle of the day for 3 hours; this was no solar eclipse but rather a sign of Gods complete judgement of sin as he laid the sins of the world upon his one and only Son. At the cross that day he took my sins and yours and cast them onto Jesus, so that he could pay the price that we never could. The price that enables us to stand before God justified, just as if we hadn’t sinned. Because of this single act God sees all who have decided to believe and receive the free gift of salvation through Christ, as if he was looking at his Son.
Read John 19:28 – Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” Our word for today is simple “Life”
Sometimes I believe we think that Jesus cannot relate to what is happening in our lives. We might think how could the God man, Jesus Christ, possibly understand what I am going through, the situation I am in, the pain I feel. Yet here he is, totally vulnerable, totally given over physically to those who desired to kill him.
Sometimes we see Christ as distant, not really all that relevant to my everyday living so we tend to ignore Him and sort of not really do much with Him, like pray and read. So that is what he becomes to us a distant God, a distant Saviour that we bring out every now and then when we are in trouble or when we need something done for us. When we think like this that is exactly what we get, a distant relationship, where you talk once in a while but you are more like an acquaintance than you are friends.
Well that’s not how it was meant to be, that is not why Christ went to the cross, in fact quite the opposite. Christ came and lived and died so that He could be in a closer relationship with you, understanding and knowing what we experience
Read John 19:28 again.
First he says “everything had now been completed” Jesus understood that the end was near, that once he had removed the penalty of sin it was over.
Second he says “Scripture had been fulfilled” This traditionally refers to Psalm 69:21 but I like the reference to Isiah 53 best. Verse 8. Christ was stricken for the transgression of His people
Lastly, what is it that Christ says at the end of this verse? I am thirsty. What does this tell us about Christ? (He was subject to thirst; He needed water to survive just like we do.) Christ came to Earth as a man, He lived as a man, He suffered as a man and He died as a man. Yet He was also God, performing miracles, rising from the dead and ascending back into Heaven.
Tell me some things you know that helps us to understand about his human side?
- He had a family – a Mother father sisters and brothers (Mark 3:31-34).
- He worked for a living – He was a carpenter, walking in the footsteps of his earthly father (Mt 13:55).
- He paid taxes – when he was asked about taxes to Caesar he simple said Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God (Mt 17:24-27).
- He was hungry – After his 40-day fast, Matthew’s Gospel tells us that Jesus was hungry.
- He became tired – During a great storm at sea, Jesus lay sleeping in the boat (Mk 4:35-39).
- He experienced grief – “Jesus wept” (Jn 11:35)
- Jesus experience rejection – This rejection began in his own hometown with his own neighbours who could not receive Him as Messiah (Mt 13:53-59) When He said hard things, some followers left him (Jn 6:60-67). He was betrayed by one of his closest followers (Lk 22:47-48). His own nation and people rejected Him and turned Him over to be crucified (Jn 1:11, 19:16-22). His own apostles fled and left Him” (Mk 14:50). And in a tragic turn, Peter denied Him 3 times (Lk 22:54-62).
- Jesus experienced pain – in his crucifixion
- He experienced the weight of sin – we saw that with our verse 2 weeks ago.
- Jesus experienced Death – The wages of sin is death and when the sin of the world was laid upon Christ the same result occurred.
All these things show us that He can relate to us, Hebrews 4:15 says For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Christ has a full awareness of what it is like to walk as a person on Earth, he was tempted in in every respect as we are and He sympathises with us. He says I know what it’s like. This is what I mean, when you are tempted to feel that Christ is distant and not available and doesn’t understand, think again. He knows and he cares.
Christ was thirsty, thirsty for water. We all get thirsty. We all need to drink, without it we die. Typically in a hot dessert sun a parson will die within a matter of hours without water yet can survive for a week without food.
Water is important for our survival.
This is why so often in the bible Jesus uses water as a way of trying to help us understand the importance of a close relationships with him.
Can anyone think of another time in the bible where Jesus requested a drink. The woman at the well. Who can relate that story to me?
Read John 14:7-13
Here Jesus talks about living water that will cause the drinker to never thirst again. So, is he talking about literal water here, from a cup or a jug? No.
The water Jesus talks about is water for the soul. As the body slowly dies for lack of physical water so the soul slowly dies for lack of spiritual water. The soul is thirsty and we try to quench that thirst we so many things, ranging from the non-spiritual to the bizarre.
- Scientology – The belief that Xenu was an alien ruler of the “Galactic Confederacy.” According to this story, 75 million years ago Xenu brought billions of people to Earth in spacecraft and stacked them around volcanoes and detonated hydrogen bombs in the volcanoes. The thetans then clustered together, stuck to the bodies of the living, and continue to do this today.
- Jedi Religion – Jediism – The Jedi Church believes that there is one all powerful force that binds all things in the universe together. The Jedi religion is something inside every one of us and is based on the star wars movies
There is a story of a sailing ship that had become disabled in a storm. It drifted aimlessly for many days. The crew and passengers became famished and parched from lack of food and water. Finally another ship came into view. They signalled frantically for water. The other ship replied, “Let down your buckets where you are.” This communication made no sense at all, for they supposed they were far out to sea in typical ocean water. Again the famished ones requested water. Again the signal came, “Let down your buckets where you are.” They did not know that they had drifted into the mouth of a river and that the water beneath them was fresh and could save their lives. The water of life lay just beneath them, yet they were dying for lack of this knowledge.
Like those passengers, multitudes of people are thirsting for “living water,” and they know not where to find it.
Christ has explained to us that he is the living water, the water for our soul. The water that brings us salvation and eternal life. If we drink from Him by making Him our Lord and Saviour and taking in His word to heart then our soul will not thirst again. It’s when we look for our souls thirst to be quenched in other areas of life is when we can never be fulfilled as God intended us to be.
Christ is nearer than you think and wants to quench your thirst with living water. Do you realise how thirsty your soul is today, how it yearn to be quenched, let Christ be your all in all.
Last verse – Psalm 42:1-2 – This Psalm pictures for me a deer, a deer who has been running, maybe to escape a predator and he finally stops beside a stream of cool water, safe. He looks into the water, he’s thirsty and the water looks so good, so inviting. Does your soul thirst for God, like a deer panting by a stream, does God look so good to you, so inviting. Let your soul embrace God and never thirst again.