March 29, 2015
Stetson Memorial United Methodist Church
6th Sunday of Lent
Final Words Sermon Series
John 19:28-29 AMP
Adapted from Adam Hamilton’s book “Final Words From the Cross”
“What Do We Thirst For…?”
A reading from the Gospel of John, chapter 19, verses 28-29, Listen to the word of God for you and me His beloved children.
John 19:28-29Amplified Bible (AMP)
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished (ended), said in fulfillment of the Scripture, I thirst.
29 A vessel (jar) full of sour wine (vinegar) was placed there, so they put a sponge soaked in the sour wine on [a stalk, reed of] hyssop, and held it to [His] mouth.
Let us pray…Pray for God’s word to be heard through me or in spite of me…
I like camels. They are really cool. I can relate to camels at times. Did you know that when temperatures rise above 110 degrees Fahrenheit, camels can survive for about five days without drinking water? During the winter, camels can survive six or seven months without drinking water. During that time, they may obtain moisture from plants they consume. Camels that graze in the Sahara can go all winter without water and may refuse to drink if water is offered to them. But a large, thirsty camel can drink as much as 200 liters a day.
There are days that I feel as if I were a camel. I may drink in the morning but Ii may not drink again until dinner at night. I am just not thirsty. But like the camel, when I am thirsty I can drink on drink after another. When we thirsty our bodies need to be replenished. But what about our souls, when our soul thirst what is it looking for, what does it thirst for?
We have been journeying our way to the Cross of Calvary…stopping here and there to hear what Jesus said in His last words from the cross, His last words of ministry so to speak. These were the last words of His ministry here on earth. Even from the cross, Jesus was still doing ministry. His anguish on the cross was leading up of the climax of His ministry and the reason He was sent from above. It is to this place that we have stopped and pondered as we await the celebration of His victory.
We have talked about His words “Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing…” and realized that we are part of the “them” that Jesus was praying for and about. We heard His words “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” which are words of hope for us knowing that we will one day be with Him where He is… We know there was an “adoption” at the cross when he proclaimed “Woman here is your son…here is your mother.” And then there was last week’s words…”My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”…Jesus knows our pain and our suffering for He Himself has been there…
Jesus’ next words make me stop and ponder for a while “I Thirst”. Now these two words seem out of place compared to the other words from the cross and it is only found in the Gospel of John. But these two words tell us more about Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Jesus thirsted for righteousness as He ministered to those around Him. It gives a deeper meaning to who Jesus was and why He came.
The words I thirst show us Jesus’ humanity. Almost every person who is near death all the sudden asks for a drink. They become thirsty just before they pass on to Glory. John was showing us that Jesus was fully human as we are. Before death He thirsted as we thirst and died as we die.
But what makes me think at these words is the question “what do I thirst for”, what is it that I desire, hunger, yearn for in my life? We live in a world offers many things that promises to “fill our thirst” but what is truly needed? What is the “better part” that I desire? We get caught up in things that we think will satisfy only to become thirsty for more things. Jesus death on the cross beckons us, beckons you and me, to thirst after only Him…
What is your craving in life? What is it that you are thirsting for? Is it that bigger house on the corner lot? How about that promotion that you think you deserve? Maybe, just maybe, as we seek Jesus, our thirst will be only for Him. Or perhaps as we being to thirst for those eternal things the thirst of the world would no longer be. Just think about what would happen if we thirst for righteousness. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” Think of what would happen if we, as humanity, would begin to seek to quench the thirst of others…quench the thirst of suffering, quench the thirst of poverty, and quench the thirst of oppression. “I thirst for… (Fill in the blank) Perhaps maybe, just maybe…