Summary: A wee short Good Friday message heavily edited from one of my earlier messages. For the Fiji Times, Good Friday edition.
Welling up to Eternal Life, Resurrection!
Later knowing that it was now completed, and so the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty,” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:28-30)
The scripture that was fulfilled was in part Psalm 22, written before 587 BC, in this prophetic Psalm, we read a depiction of the crucifixion.
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.
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.
Dogs surround me,
a pack of villains encircles me;
they pierce my hands and my feet.
All my bones are on display;
people stare and gloat over me.
They divide my clothes among them
and cast lots for my garment.” (Psalm 22:14-18)
The dryness and thirst in Jesus' mouth were like broken crockery. This was thirst none of us has ever felt, the thirst of a death denied of water.
Have you ever wondered what those standing nearby would have thought, the educated scribes and Pharisees who came to gloat? They saw Psalm 22 played out in front of their eyes. These learned people would have known the Psalm by heart. Hearing Jesus words, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me” in the first line of the Psalm, they would have realised they had killed the Messiah recalling the words of the Psalm that follow.
Jesus knew what he was to encounter.
Good Friday leaves us waiting, we are caught up in a mystery, Jesus is broken, dead! Why was the hyssop branch used to deliver the drink? This herb, Hyssop, was a symbol of cleansing and redemption.
Jesus said “I am Thirsty” That drink delivered, the taking of the wine vinegar, this symbolic act of purification, in his last act of swallowing the bitterness that had been presented to him, Jesus fulfilled the scriptures, defeating sin and death!
Have you heard the saying, It's Friday but Sunday's coming?
The one who died for us in agonising thirst says, "But whosoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:14)
It’s Friday, but Sunday's coming!