26 March, 2006

My Good Friday Assignment - I Thirst

I have been given the opportunity to share 5 minutes on Jesus' 6th word from the cross, "I thirst." Here is what I will share (After all suggestions, additions and corrections . :-)

Psalm 22

2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.
3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel.
12 Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions that tear their prey open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me.
15 My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.

Psalm 69
3 I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God.
4 Those who hate me without reason outnumber the hairs of my head; many are my enemies without cause, those who seek to destroy me. I am forced to restore what I did not steal.
19 You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed; all my enemies are before you.
20 Scorn has broken my heart and has left me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none.
21 They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.

John 19
28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty."
29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips.

The Lord of Creation, and the Savior of all the earth is stretched beyond measure. His strength, His Life, is poured out before their eyes. He is spent and desparate. Every bone out of joint, He looks down from the cursed tree to those who hate Him without cause and asks that His thirst be relieved. Like the rich man in Hades, the holy Son of Man is roasting upon the Father's wrath, and He asks for a drop of water to be placed upon His tongue.

These soldiers, these bulls of Bashan surrounding the Son of Man, with jaws open wide to tear their prey, find their hearts softened. They decide to extend mercy to this condemned Man. The vinegar that the Roman soldiers gave to the condemned may have contained a kind of pain reliever. So, they extended to Him a gift.

Jesus received of them vinegar and gall. On top of all the cruelty, even the mercy extended by man to the Holy Lamb was acid and bitterness.

The Son of Man took this drink. To His thirst He added bitterness, and in taking it He overcame it. The bitterness entered His mouth, but it never made it to His heart. The Friend of Sinners remained a Lover of God and of us, the ungodly, in His hour of weakest need and unjust attack.

He suffered this for us. He suffered so that we would never thirst. The Eternal Fountain was parched so that Water would be given to us.

John 7
37 Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.
38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them."

Because Jesus suffered, He is now glorified, and because He is glorified, the Spirit is given to us. The Spirit lives within us, and flows out from us to one another. Because the Holy One thirsted, we never need to.

But there are those among us who thirst, those who are parched. The brother working overtime to support his family, the sister working all the time to care for that family, the single parent doing both, the senior working on after strength has gone, the saint who just needs a shoulder to cry on.

Because Jesus was parched, we need never be. We can release the Water of consolation and love to each other. When a saint is in the middle of the fiery trial, we can give them the sweet water of how Christ suffered for them. We can come alongside, and bear their burden with them. We can shower on to the saints the Love we have received from the Lover of our souls. And when we do, we will be giving water to the Lord Himself.

One day, because of the precious work of the Lamb, and because His church learned how to let the Spirit flow out from them, Jesus will be able to look at His sheep and say,

Matthew 25
40 Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
34 Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,


Rich said...

Awesome, codepoke. Truly awesome.

Weekend Fisher said...

You brought tears to my eyes man.

Milly said...

So good.

Danny Kaye said...

Your message will surely move some hearts, Codepoke.

I especially love this line:
The bitterness entered His mouth, but it never made it to His heart.

What a great point!

It is always good to remember the bitter taste in his mouth now that we "have tasted that the Lord is good."