Thirst: The Aching Void Filled by One Thing
Easter brings our thoughts to Jesus, His journey to the cross and His resurrection. Some will attend services that will include Stations of the Cross, The Seven Sayings of Jesus on the Cross, and more depending how you celebrate and the traditions you bring.
Records of celebrations fill journals to pass the traditions to the generations to come. John the disciple, whom Jesus loved, wrote his gospel with the purpose that people might believe that Jesus is the Christ, and so find Life in his name. Jn. 20:30-31 (1).
Consider the Seven Utterances of Jesus on the Cross, especially “I Thirst” from John 19:28 “Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I Thirst.” (1)
The men who offered the wine vinegar assumed He meant He was thirsty and wanted water but remember Jesus had just gone through three hours of darkness in which God had turned from Him when Jesus said: “I thirst.” Also, His previous words were, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (2)
These words gave evidence that Jesus was a human, a man. However, He didn’t stop being who He was, in addition to his deity He took on perfect humanity. He was the God-man. “The Word became flesh; he became what he was not before though he never ceased to be all that he was previously.” (3)
His spirit was broken. The Bible says, “A broken Spirit drieth the bones.” (Prov. 17:22) His thirst was not for water it was because God had turned from Him, He was thirsting, longing for God. His “thirst’ was the effect of the agony of his soul in the fierce heat of God’s wrath.
The thirst identifies the drought of the place where the living God is not. However, it plainly expressed his yearning for communion with God again, from whom for three hours he was separated.
He is teaching us what this thirst is; longing for God, a part of us that we all have. I remember a minister praying for me saying as he placed his hand over my heart, “She has a hole right here that she fears will never be filled, fill it now Lord.” I recognized it then and received what felt like a filling.
“I Thirst”, as I held these two words in my heart, I began to see the Life that God gives me because of it. When I am thirsty, I assume I need water or something to drink, but I now see it could mean a Spiritual thirst.
How do we find Life in these words?
Once you have experienced it to know what “thirst” looks like and receive a filling, you can spot the need in yourself, and you can detect the need in other people.
This thirst may be a void—an aching of the soul, a place unsatisfied, a place where the living God is not. Be careful that you don’t try to satisfy the thirst with things that simply numb the pain like eating, drinking, drugs, shopping, or anything excessive.
Most people don’t know that physical or natural things cannot fill this void/thirst that we have; it’s spiritual and filled by God. When the thirst is quenched, and you know whose you are; your needs are met. Again, “My soul thirsteth for the living God.”
You will not find Him in the weariness of religious performance in the endless variety of works available all in the name of Jesus; nor will you find Him in all that the world offers. You will find Him when you come to rest and get honest lifting your hands and heart to God saying “I thirst, fill me.”
The Word says, “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.” John 4:14.7 Come to Him for the peace that He alone can give. (1) So now when thirst comes I ask myself, “Is it for water or the Word?”
My prayer for each person who sits in front of me at the Sheep Shed for help with issues they are dealing with is to get them to the place where they can receive this touch from the living God knowing the peace of acceptance, worth and belonging as God created, and go on from there.
Every Easter since this experience I choose water and The Word for a fast during Lent. I find my insight is clearer; focus is sharper, and I’m tickled because Jesus shared more of Himself with me. He will do that for you too.