These are strange times when many feel restless, inwardly thirsty and adrift as “normal” life goes on hold. Most of our good intentions during Lent have fallen foul of sickness, stress or a heavy soul sadness weight.
As I read about the inexplicable burden of the crucifixion recently, I was transfixed by three words Jesus speaks in John’s gospel: “I am thirsty.” (John 19:28).
In order to address His perceived physical need, Jesus is offered a sponge soaked in sour wine to sip from. What seems like a generous gesture is both inadequate and insulting.
With His thirst left unsatisfied, Jesus partakes of humanity’s bitterness and gall as He hangs dying on the cross, poured out like a drink offering for us.
This act is preceded by Him calling out, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabacthani?” which is translated as “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34-36)
How Jesus might have thirsted
His heartfelt cry on the cross suggests that Jesus was not only physically thirsty but emotionally too. For the first time ever, as He took upon himself the sin of the whole world, His holy, righteous Father could not look upon or be in fellowship with Him.
Their full and loving union and communion was temporarily broken. And I think that must have broken Jesus’ heart. I believe Jesus thirsted for all He had known before.
Instead of using the personal, intimate ‘Abba, Father’, Jesus now addresses His Father as ‘God’, possibly indicating the temporary loss of what He had always experienced, their unending closeness and intimacy.
In taking on humanity’s sin, Jesus endured a painful separation from God so we could become reconciled and know Him as our loving, heavenly Father.
I have been thirsty for many things in my life, including: approval, security, a satisfying career and material success. They were mostly out of my reach, which has proved to be a blessing. Now I thirst to know God better and help encourage others in the process.
Acceptance, love, security and safety are our basic human needs. These things are fully met in relationship with God. Jesus is inextricably linked with a river of life, hope and faith, that runs through us now by his Spirit.
Jesus as Living Water to the thirsty
Jesus offers Living Water to the spiritually thirsty Samaritan woman. At the start of their conversation, Jesus requests a drink from her as she is at the well drawing water.
Do we ever stop to think how Jesus, our Living Water, thirsts now? Perhaps He thirsts for more of our time, attention, presence and love.
While we ponder the wonder of the cross and marvel at the resurrection to come, let’s take a moment to prayerfully consider how Jesus may be desiring a closer, more intimate relationship with us now and in the days ahead.
An Easter prayer
We have no difficulty seeing our need
of the things you offer us.
Your mercy, grace and forgiveness
are what we long for,
and our souls require daily watering
by your Spirit and your Word.
Yet our hearts can fail and quail
at the thought of you
wanting something in return.
What can we give to you
that you do not already possess?
We offer our hearts, we offer our lives,
we offer our thanksgiving,
adoration, prayer and praise,
service and sentiments.
Then we hear you saying:
“I miss you. Come and be with Me”
“I love you. Come and lean on Me”
“I desire to help and heal you. Come and rest in Me”
“I have much to teach you. Learn from Me”
“I long to hear your voice. Speak with Me”
For in our busyness we can fail
to spend time in your presence.
Whatever you are saying, Lord,
give us ears to hear,
hearts to respond,
spirits that are willing and souls
that delight to be with you, always.
Let’s seek the holy soul saturation we all need to be able to cope each day by turning to Jesus, who takes all our sorrow and pain and give us His unquenchable love, mercy and grace in return.
NOTE: Please accept my apologies for the technical glitches if some of you received a variation of this post yesterday by mistake. Normal service will be resumed asap! 🙂 xo