1. Hello, listening friends.
2. Thank you, once again, for tuning in.
3. It has been said that the most treasured words uttered by anyone are the words uttered on the deathbed.
4. In my last four messages, I have been talking about the seven statements that Jesus uttered from the cross.
5. The seven sayings from the cross of Christ have been cherished by believers for 2,000 years.
6. The first of these statements was made at about 9:00 in the morning.
7. Jesus interceded on behalf of the people who nailed Him on the cross.
8. He said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing...”
9. then, the next statement from the cross was a word of assurance to a repentant sinner.
10. Jesus said to him, “Today, you shall be with Me in Paradise…”
11. then, toward the noon hour, undistracted by His own pain, Jesus made a provision for His own mother;
12. and, then, when the brightness of high noon became blacker than midnight, Jesus uttered a cry of mystery.
13. “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”
14. or, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
15. Today, we come to the fifth of the seven statements.
16. John, who was there in person, recorded these words,
17. and, if you have your Bibles, please turn to John, Chapter 19, verses 28 and 29.
18. Let’s read them together.
19. This cry of thirst from the cross is not the cry of provision for others;
20. but, rather, a cry of agony that self-consciously came to the lips of the Lord.
21. First, it was a cry of physical suffering.
22. As you can imagine, the tension and apprehension heightened the sense of thirst.
23. It was the tension of the Upper Room.
24. It was the tension of Gethsemane, when our Lord prayed with such intensity.
25. His sweat was like drops of blood, which caused intense dehydration;
26. then, there was the tension of the arrest and the trip from Gethsemane to the judgment hall of Caiaphas.
27. There, the three stages of Jewish trial took place.
28. First, with Annas; then, Caiaphas; then, the whole;
29. then, He was taken across the city to Jerusalem,
30. and, from there, to the fortress of Antonia;
31. and, then, to a fourth interrogation by Pilate;
32. then, He was dragged across the city again to the judgment hall of Herod for the fifth interrogation;
33. and, finally, he was taken back to Pilate for the sixth time in the early hours of the morning.
34. There, He was interrogated and mocked.
35. Nowhere in these records do we read that the Lord Jesus was ever given any relief for His physical needs.
36. On the contrary, historically, we know that the treatment of people on these occasions was brutal.
37. Jesus was probably dragged with brutality from place to place, thirsty;
38. then, there was the flogging.
39. Many men have died from the cruelty of such flogging.
40. Jesus was weakened so much that He could not carry the cross up the hill to the crucifixion.
41. After the flogging, there was the laceration and the loss of blood that followed it;
42. then, there was the suspension on the cross for six hours.
43. No wonder His soul anguished with the cry of physical thirst.
44. In response, one of the soldiers dipped a sponge in a jar of wine vinegar on the end of a javelin and lifted it up to Him.
45. We don’t know whether this was an act of cruelty or an act of kindness.
46. My listening friend, I want to ask you a question.
47. What does the anguish of the cross say to you and me today?
48. First, it says that Jesus will never, never turn down anyone who comes to Him, crying for salvation.
49. When you see Calvary distilled in the words, “I thirst,”
50. it ought to remind you of what the Apostle Paul said,
51. “God, who spared not His only Son, but delivered Him up for us, how will He not, with Him, freely give us all things?”
52. It is impossible for the Lord to refuse anyone who would come to Him saying, “Lord, save me.”
53. The Lord, having suffered what He suffered on Calvary, would never say “No.”
54. When Jesus said, “I thirst,” He gives us the assurance that our treaty of peace with God has been signed.
55. Secondly, the words, “I thirst,” ought to be remembered and meditated upon at the time of temptation.
56. None of us go through this life without the constant, subtle, clever craftiness of the tempter.
57. Satan comes to you and me in the moment of loneliness or fatigue and seeks to tempt us.
58. He is always ready for us to give him a door of opportunity or a foothold;
59. then, our adversary is there to push us all the way.
60. How do we meet that temptation?
61. The way you and I are to meet this temptation is that, at the moment of temptation --
62. be it the grip of greed,
63. be it the hot anger of hatred,
64. whatever it may be that pulls you in your life --
65. stop right then and meditate on the reality that fastened Jesus to the cross and caused Him to cry out, “I thirst.”
66. When you do that, you will receive power to overcome.
67. You will receive power to refuse.
68. You will receive the power for victory;
69. but, then, there is a deeper meaning to this cry, “I thirst.”
70. The Word of God gives us a fuller meaning to that cry.
71. Psalm 42 said,
72. “As the deer panteth after water, my soul panteth for you, O God.
73. My thirst is for the living God.
74. When can I go and meet with Him?”
75. Remember, my friend, that the preceding cry, the cry of my last message, was the cry of desertion.
76. “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
77. With the totality of humanity’s sin weighing down heavily upon Him,
78. Jesus had, for the first and only time in eternity, seen the back side of the Father.
79. At that moment on the cross, He had seen the wrath of God,
80. and, having tasted that, He cried out with the Psalmist, “I thirst.”
81. He thirsts for the renewal of fellowship with the Father again.
82. What about you, my listening friend?
83. When was the last time you thirsted for God?
84. What broken cistern are you looking to, to satisfy your thirst?
85. In John, Chapter 4, at Jacob’s well in Samaria, Jesus meets a woman --
86. a woman, like all of us, who was tempted to get her satisfaction from a broken cistern and counterfeit water --
87. and Jesus said to her,
88. “Anyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again.”
89. This woman thought her satisfaction came from her religious tradition.
90. This woman thought that her satisfaction came from observing some dead rituals.
91. This woman thought her satisfaction came from feeding her sensuality;
92. but Jesus said to her,
93. “This kind of water gives you a false sense of satisfaction.”
94. Some of you, my listening friends, may be drinking from the fountain of work,
95. thinking that, “If I can do just a little more, I will be satisfied.”
96. Some of you may be drinking at the fountain of alcohol or drugs,
97. thinking that, “One more time, it will take me from the inner pain that I feel.”
98. Some are drinking from the fountain of infidelity in marriage,
99. thinking that, “This person is going to give me the satisfaction that I’m looking for.”
100. It is written all over these broken cisterns that whoever drinks from this water will thirst again and again;
101. but thirsting after God is the only thirst that can truly be satisfied;
102. and, so, Jesus thirsts for the Father.
103. Also, this cry was a cry of surrender and submission.
104. The Scripture clearly teaches that Jesus, the eternal Son of God, is One for whom and through whom all created things came into being.
105. When the Father said, “Let there be light,”
106. the Lord Jesus Christ organized this light.
107. When the Father said, “Let us make man in our own image,”
108. the eternal Son administered and brought that about.
109. When the Father said, “Let there be separation between the firmament and the waters,”
110. the pre-incarnate Lord Jesus Christ administered that.
111. There were many waters created by God --
112. all the waters in the world, all the oceans, all the lakes and all the rivers,
113. and, yet, the One who put all the waters together, in submission to the Father said, “I thirst.”
114. In 1 Corinthians, Chapter 10, Paul said,
115. “In the wilderness, Israel drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ.”
116. That same Lord said, “I thirst.”
117. This same Lord, who was in the beginning of His ministry, refused to cheapen His spiritual power by turning stone into bread.
118. That is the same Lord who refused to minimize the suffering of Calvary to slacken His own thirst.
119. This is an act of submission.
120. My listening friend, listen very carefully, as I conclude.
121. There are many ways for us to assert ourselves, to force our own opinions upon others.
122. There are many ways to parade our pride,
123. to see that our will be done and is done;
124. but, when we hear the voice of the Galilean again and again saying,
125. “You can do all that; but, for My sake, submit and do it not,”
126. then, we are compelled to submit to Him.
127. By suffering physically, spiritually and willingly, the Lord Jesus submitted His own will to the will of the Father.
128. He was under no constraint to do it at all; but He did it for you.
129. John, who recorded these words, “I thirst,” tells us, in Revelation, Chapter 7,
130. that, when we are gathered around the Lamb,
131. we shall hunger no more,
132. nor will we thirst.
133. In His presence, all thirst will be slackened,
134. for we shall be forever in the presence of the One who is the Water of Life;
135. and, my listening friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ today, you can know Him.
136. He loved you to the death
137. and He’s inviting you today.
138. Will you come to Him;
139. and, then, write to us and tell us?
140. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.