Summary: A sermon about thirsting for and finding life in God.
"Words from the Cross: 'I'm Thirsty'"
Have you ever been really, really thirsty, but there was no water or even soda to be found?
When I'm really thirsty and I am not able to have a drink, I have a hard time thinking about anything else.
I might fantasize about an icy cool glass of lemonade, as if there is nothing better nor more important in all the world.
Or perhaps all I can think about is a freezing cold bottle of Coke...
...and not the kind that comes in aluminum cans or 2 liter plastic bottles--the kind that comes in those old fashioned glass Coke bottles, sitting in a cooler of ice.
Really, though, there is nothing like clean, clear, cool water to quench your thirst.
What do you think about when you are really, really thirsty?
As the hours crept by, and the pain and agony continued to race through His body on the Cross Jesus became more dehydrated than any of us can even begin to imagine due to the loss of blood and sweat.
He hadn't had anything to eat or drink since the Last Supper the night before.
As the flies buzzed at His head and the buzzards hungrily awaited His death Jesus' mouth was completely parched.
But He carried on toward completing the mission He came to fulfill.
Back when Jesus was arrested Jesus said: "do you think I'm not able to ask my Father and he will send me more than twelve battle groups of angels right away?"
And yet, with His life ebbing away...
...With spikes driven through His hands and feet...
...having been stripped naked, with all His bodily parts and functions exposed for the humiliating gaze of the public...
...being mocked by the onlookers: "He saved others, but he can't save himself"...
...and the thirst, the thirst...
...can you imagine the temptation that the God of this universe must have been dealing with?
He could have come down from that Cross in an instant.
He could have killed those who were crucifying Him with a wave of His hand.
He could have drunk all He wanted.
Instead, Jesus endured all this, for you and for me.
Remember what Jesus had said a few chapters earlier in John 15:13: "No one has greater love than to give up one's life for one's friends."
Yes, Jesus was going to see it through.
Because Jesus IS LOVE.
And there is no one who loves you and I and the entire human race more than Jesus Christ.
Do you believe this?
Remember that in John's Gospel everything is written at at least two levels.
And so, Jesus' Words for this morning have both a surface meaning and a deeper one.
Jesus was living in a human body.
He was dehydrated, painfully thirsty; His tongue was sticking to the roof of His mouth...
...but John is writing down these words of Jesus for another reason as well.
We are to remember other times that Jesus spoke about water.
Remember the long talk Jesus had with the Samaritan woman at the well in John Chapter 4?
Jesus offered her "living water."
For many years she had been thirsty for love, but none of her five husbands had satisfied this thirsting in her soul.
She was thirsty for more than water.
"Those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty," Jesus said.
"The water I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life."
Water is essential for life.
We can live for weeks without eating but only 3 to 5 days without drinking.
When Jesus uses this metaphor of thirst and living water, He's talking about what is essential for life.
As human beings, we need both physical water and living water--spiritual water.
This spiritual water is what our hearts yearn for; it is joy and hope, meaning and purpose, peace, friendship and love, forgiveness and mercy.
And Jesus is the only Source of this "living water."
In John chapter 7, Jesus said to the crowds: "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink."
In light of this, do Jesus' Words: "I am thirsty" pierce your heart?
What exactly does it mean that the One Who offers living water was now thirsty?
For one thing, Jesus was fully human.
Before His death, He thirsted as we thirst, and then He died as we die.
Jesus chose to suffer in order to save us.
His suffering on the Cross is a picture of God's pain due to the brokenness and sinfulness of the human race and how much it cost God to save us.
In His suffering, God was able to identify with the suffering we face in this life.