"I am thirsty."
by Pastor Ron
Jesus knew that everything was now finished, and to fulfill
the Scriptures he said, "I am thirsty."  A jar of sour wine was
sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, and put it on a
hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips.  When Jesus had
tasted it, he said, "It is finished!"  Then he bowed his head
and gave up his spirit."

John 19:28-30

All of us get thirsty.  Some thirsts can get quenched by a bottle of water
or a can of Mountain Dew, Pepsi, or Dr. Pepper.  Yet some thirsts run
deeper than that.   Some thirsts simply won't get quenched by a simple
drink.  Some thirsts stem from a dryness in our heart and soul.  We
thirst for love.  We thirst for acceptance.  We thirst for friendship.  We
thirst for God.

Here as he hung on the cross, Jesus experienced a deep thirst.  The
Roman soldier who heard his cry of thirst sought to quench it or at least
numb it by offering Jesus  some sour wine on a sponge.  Yet, he
misunderstood Jesus' thirst.  Jesus didn't want just any drink.  I believe
that he wanted to drink from the love and presence of the Lord our God.

You see, when you read the Gospel accounts of the crucifixion together,
Jesus' cry of thirst occurs after he cries out, "My God, my God, why
have you forsaken me." Here Jesus feels lost and all alone because
Jesus has taken on the weight of the sin of the world that has broken his
connection with the Father.  Jesus thirsts for intimacy with the Father
once again.

Psalm 42:1-2 reflects this kind of thirst:
"As the deer pants for streams
of water, so I long for you, O God.  I thirst for God, the living God. When
can I come and stand before him?"

As your sin and my sin caused Jesus to become spiritually parched, he
cried out to God for His Spirit and love to come and fill him again.  Yet,
the Roman soldier misunderstood Jesus' thirst and offered him sour
wine.  

Have you ever thirsted really deep like that?  What kind of drink were
you offered?  How long did it take for you to discover that what you were
offered didn't quench your real thirsts after all?  

Too often, we're told that religion will quench our thirsts. Yet religion by
itselfs leaves us thirsting for something more.  i know.  We don't need
religion.  We need a living faith that comes from a real relationship with
a living Lord.  Jesus and Jesus alone can quench a thirst like that.

He shares in John 4:15,
"...the water I give...takes away thirst altogether.
 It becomes a perpetual spring within them, giving them eternal life."
 
Letting God's Spirit, love and life to flow into your heart and soul will take
the dryness of life away, even the thirst from the cross.

Drink in God's love.  Let it fill you.  Let it flow into every part of your life.  
Let it spill out of you and splash upon your family and friends.  Offer
them the drink that has changed your life...and mine.

Jesus: the real thirst quencher.   Amen.
A meditation for Fifth Sunday of Lent
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