John 19:28: Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”
Thirst was one of the most distressing circumstances attending the crucifixion. Normally, when we have a dry or sore throat and need water, we feel we could die for a mouthful of cool liquid. On a hot day, when we take a long swig of cold water, we feel as if our entire bodies have been soothed. A momentary sip of water can last us for a while. Thirst cannot only be a physical insufficiency, but a spiritual deficiency. We can thirst for justice, love, peace, joy, and community.
The wounds of Christ were highly inflamed, a raging fever, by the sufferings on the cross, and this was accompanied by insupportable thirst. I believe this thirst that causes Christ to cry out was not just a physical thing that water could quench, but also a spiritual thirst that only God could slake. When sickness is raging in the human body, we cry out and thirst for healing. When tragedy rocks our life, we cry out and want peace and joy. When we feel lost or abandoned, we cry out for the love and grace of God found in Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior.
Think of the reality of Jesus dying on the cross to pay for your sins and mine. Jesus died for our sins. Jesus died, so that we might live in and through Him. It is something that I will never fully understand in this life. I need to thank Him more and more often for dying for me, for you, for all of us.
As we make our way through Holy Week and draw closer to Good Friday and Easter morning, we should look deeply at our lives, the good and bad. Pray to God thanking Him for making a way for us to approach boldly the throne of Our Creator-king God. We should also pray for God to heal our bad parts and increase our good parts, not for our sake but to bring more glory to Our Father and His Son Jesus Christ.
Do you thirst? Are you crying out for release of your pain, your tragedy, your spiritual scarcity?
I think God tells us through the life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus that no matter how dark, how awful, how horrible it is now that after three days the light will shine and you will find that a new day has dawned and God has made you into a new person in a new world. We might have to go through the loss of all we hold dear in order to see the light of God shinning into our lives.
Thomas Merton: “In one sense we are always traveling, and traveling as if we did not know where we were going. In another sense, we have already arrived. We cannot arrive at the perfect possession of God in this life, and that is why we are traveling and in darkness. But we already possess Him by grace, and therefore, in that sense, we have arrived and are dwelling in the light. But oh! How far have I to go to find You in Whom I have already arrived!”
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