Thursday, June 29, 2017

Words From the Cross: Thirst

Chuckle: A wise old farmer's advice: "A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor."
Quote: “The cry of thirst which Jesus gave on the Cross was a statement of need. He spoke of a world in need; for the myriads who would hunger and thirst down the ages of history.” --Norman Goodacre

Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled (Psalm 69:21), Jesus said, "I am thirsty" (John 19:28 NIV)
I have read that in the Swedish language the same word is used for thirst and fire. It describes the terrible agony that extreme thirst can bring to a person. Death producing thirst can burn like fire in one's mouth and throat as the all-consuming need for water intensifies. A person can live for weeks without food, but only a few days without water. It was inevitable that Jesus would have a terrible thirst as he was being tortured unto death on the cross.
When we consider Jesus' horrible thirst on the cross, it reminds us of other Biblical uses of thirst to teach spiritual truths. Early in his ministry, Jesus asked the Samaritan woman for a drink of water(John 4:7). He used the occasion to introduce her to the kingdom of God and "living water." Those who drink this eternal water will never thirst again spiritually. Jesus began and ended his ministry on earth by asking for a drink of water. He often used thirst as a theme -- spiritual water for the soul and physical water for the body.
Jesus’ cry, "I am thirsty," seems relatively insignificant when compared to other brutalities Jesus suffered, in reality, it may have been the most severe torture of all. Dying of thirst is one of the most cruel and painful deaths. Have you ever been really thirsty -- so thirsty that water was all you could think about? I’m sure It is a hopeless excruciating feeling.
In answer to Jesus' plea, the soldiers gave him vinegar to drink. When we first read this, we are tempted to suppose that the soldiers intended to insult Jesus. A closer look at customs of that day, however, shows that vinegar was the common drink of the Roman army and likely to be readily available. Elsewhere, we read that Jesus was offered a medicated potion, wine mingled with myrrh, to deaden his pain. But He refused to meet death in a stupefied state. I can’t help believing that if He had escaped the pain and suffering through some sort of medication, he would not have born our sins completely. The vinegar, or sour wine, was refreshing but did nothing to deaden His pain.
Calvary was not a pretty place. Have you ever grasped how truly ugly Jesus' sufferings were and how we should shudder every time we read the story? Because he suffered, millions have been blessed with forgiveness of sin, personal eternal salvation, and strength for everyday living. Even in his cry of thirst we see him bearing our sins in his own body on that “old rugged cross.”
When we have met the Jesus and surrendered our lives to him, we will no longer thirst, for our needs have been met and God's Spirit will have taken up residence in our hearts. "But whosoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life" (John 4:14 NIV). The message from the cross is that Christ can quench our spiritual thirst because he once thirsted. He can make us alive because he conquered death.
Love, Jerry & Dotse

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