Today we are continuing our Lenten series on the final words of Jesus as he suffered and died on the cross. Today’s words come from John 19:28-29: After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.”A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth.
About six or seven years ago I decided to bike the High Trestle Trail near Ankeny. I had just bought a new carbon fiber bike, and was fairly convinced I was king of the world, so the 100-degree temperatures did not scare me. A friend had told me it was a 25-mile ride, so I planned accordingly. When I hit 15 miles, and was not near the end of the trail, I realized I had misinterpreted my friend. I thought he meant it was 25 miles roundtrip, while in reality its 25 miles out and another 25 back. At this point a wise person would have turned around, realizing they didn’t have enough water for a 50 mile trip on such a hot day. A stubborn and pride swollen fool, however, presses onward convinced of his might and invincibility. I eventually ran out of water on a section of the trail without any water sources. The experience of getting that thirsty and dehydrated is one I can do without experiencing again! I soon lost my energy, could barely pedal, and had to resort to walking my bike. All I could think about was water as my body got progressively weaker and weaker. By the time I reached water my body was so dehydrated that it kept throwing it back up. I eventually had to call 911 and have an ambulance come and give me fluids intravenously. It was a scary reminder of how necessary water is to human life.
When I hear Jesus say he is thirsty in this passage I am reminded that without Him we would be thirsty for all eternity. Just like we would die without water, without the living water of Jesus eternal life in God’s perfect heaven is impossible for us. I think this is one reason hardly anyone seems satisfied in life, regardless of their financial wealth and possessions. God didn’t create us to only thrive off of worldly things, but to need the living water of Christ. It is only Christ who can truly satisfy and provide for us for all eternity. Jesus teaches us this in John 4:13-14:
Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
This lent, I pray that your wants and desires can be quenched by the living water of Christ Jesus. Instead of spending so much effort searching for worldly satisfaction, let the eternal gift of living water be that which truly satisfies you now and forever more.