“I Thirst.”


Lenten Prayer Challenge – Thursday, March 22, 2018

Pastor Rachel Gilmore

“I thirst” are the last words Jesus utters (John 19:28) before he cries out, “It is finished” and dies on the cross. I’ve spent time with people preparing to give birth, preparing for surgery or preparing for death when they are in pain.  They commonly ask for something to drink or ice chips because they are thirsty. I’m not doing a facebook live meditation today because I’ve lost my voice and am home with strep throat. My throat is so infected and swollen that I haven’t been able to eat or drink for over 12 hours and I too, thirst.  And while some numbing medication and antibiotics can get me on the road to recovery and end my human thirst, I wonder if John intentionally included these words from Jesus so we would be reminded of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman in John 4 where Jesus tells her that if she drinks from the water that he provides, she’ll never thirst again.  

What do we thirst for in life?  What do we really desire? What satisfies us?  The world naturally programs us to thirst for money, status, security, beauty, power and belonging,  but we serve a poor, homely looking homeless man who people called a bastard. Jesus wasn’t nominated for Time’s “Person of the Year.”  Jesus didn’t belong, he didn’t thirst for the things that the world thirsts for. Jesus thirsted for justice, for grace, for forgiveness and love and healing and wholeness.  When we make Jesus our priority and seek FIRST the kingdom of God, then the temporary human thirst we experience in our seasons of preparation pales in comparison to the contentment we experience in Christ.  When Jesus thirsted on the cross, he was given wine vinegar on a sponge that was lifted up to him on a hyssop plant. Hyssop plants were minty, sturdy stalks that were used for a variety of things, even medicinal purposes, but God used them as a sign of purification (Leviticus 14:1-7,33-53; Exodus 12:22, Psalm 51:7) .  Christ was purified on the cross before he died, as a perfect and complete sacrifice for us. He thirsted so we wouldn’t ever have to thirst again. As we seek to be purified in our hearts and minds and souls, let us fix our eyes on what really matters- not the number of “likes” on your Facebook page or followers on Nnstagram or dollars in your bank account- “fix your eyes on Jesus,” as the author of Hebrews says, “The author and perfector of your faith…and run with perseverance the race set before you.”  (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Leave a Reply