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When Water Thirsted
Can water be thirsty?
Back in John 4 Jesus was thirsty, and asked a woman at a well for some water. He then told her that He could give her living water...the water of life. She said, "Give me this water." Jesus replied, "I am."
He is the living water, and yet He thirsted on that day, just like He did in our text.
ill.--one of my kids recently said as he drank from a water bottle, "This tastes old." I said, it is -- 6,000 years ago God created it and it has been liquid, solid, and gas, sometimes salty, sometimes stinky. It has been drank before, processed, flushed, and purified and recycled, and now we pay up to $4 for a little bottle of what God created for free. [They choose soda now instead, but news flash, it has water in it!]
He who created all water was able to walk on top of it and turn it into wine at will. He's God, and yet He is thirsty!
Jesus was crucified at 9 o’clock in the morning, and He spent the first three hours on the cross in the sunlight. He likely hadn't had anything to drink at that point for more than 12 hours. Then the darkness came for three hours, and at the end Jesus cried out his fourth saying from the cross, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46).
Our Lord’s first three statements were centered on others - His enemies [Father, forgive them], the believing thief [today you will be with me in paradise], and John & Mary [take care of each other]. His fourth statement, was about Himself AND others, because He was forsaken when others' sins were laid on Him, for their sake. He helped others first, and did the job He was sent to do on the cross.
v. 28 'knowing' -- Certainly he knew He was thirsty before this moment, but He laid aside His own desire for the sake of others until the job was finished! [Mark 15:23, He turned down a drink before the cross.]
But His last three statements from the cross were solely focused on Himself: His body - "I thirst" (John 19:28); His soul - "It is finished" (v. 30; Isaiah 53:10); and His spirit - "Father, into Thy hands, I commit my spirit" (Luke 23:46). Body, soul & spirit - all were offered by the Lord Jesus Christ in obedience to the Father.
The shortest of these statements that our Lord made from the cross is the one found in John 19:28, "I thirst." In the original text, it is one word with just four letters. It is the only statement in which our Lord referred to His body and His physical suffering. This simple word, however, tells us three important things about our Savior.
1. Jesus Is A Sympathetic Savior.
While Jesus was divine, He was also human. Because He walked upon this earth as a man He became very much acquainted with the difficulties of life here below. When He was a child, He probably skinned His knee a time or two. As a teenager, it is likely that He knew what it was like to not be part of the "in" crowd. Learning the carpenter’s trade in His father’s shop, He likely had a splinter or two, and He also could very well have smashed His thumb on occasion with a hammer. [did not curse! Neither do I, but when I hit my thumb if you'd write it down I'd sign at the bottom!]
As a man, He knew what it was to grow tired, to be cold, to sweat, to be hungry, and, of course, He knew what it was like to be thirsty.
During an airline flight, concern over the heavy turbulence mounted as people were thrown about in their seats and bags began to fall from the overheads, until the soothing voice of the pilot came over the intercom: “No need to worry, folks,” he said, “These bumps are made of air!”
We may wish the bumps we face in life were made of air, but they are not. Life throws us around; adversities are real. Physical trials sting. Emotional troubles drop unresolved baggage into our laps. Spiritual difficulties let the air out of our souls.
Jesus felt the "bumps" as He lived here among men. Because this is so, we know that He understands where we are and what we are going through in this life.
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
One of Denmark’s leading sculptors had a burning ambition to create the greatest statue of Jesus ever made. He began by shaping a clay model of a triumphant, regal figure. The head was thrown back and the arms were upraised in a gesture of great majesty. It was his conception of Christ the King: Strong, Dominant. "This is my masterpiece," he said, on the day it was completed. But, during the night a heavy fog rolled into the area and sea-spray seeped through a partially opened window of the artist’s studio. The moisture affected the shape of the model so that when the artist returned in the morning, he was shocked to find a wounded figure. The droplets of moisture that had formed on the statue created the illusion of bleeding. The head had drooped. The facial expression had been transformed from triumph to compassion. And the arms had dropped into an attitude of welcome. The artist stared at the figure, agonizing over the time wasted and the need to begin all over again. But something came over him which changed his mood. He began to see that this image of Christ was the true one. Then he wrote at the base of the newly-shaped figure its official title: "Come unto Me!"