[The Thirst Trap]
As we continue reading through the last sayings of Jesus, we come upon John 19:28-30. In this passage, Jesus has been on the cross for some time, and is becoming weary. He has forgiven those that put Him there, He gave eternal salvation to a thief by promising to remember him, He made sure His mother and disciple were set up to take care of one another, and now, He is thirsty. He asks for a drink.
Jesus never does anything without a reason. There is nothing He does or says that does not mean something. And this is no different. “I’m thirsty”. Jesus, the well-spring of life, asks for a drink.
So often, we become thirsty. We become thirsty for approval, for love, for success, for happiness, for popularity, for money. The thing is, we are already promised freedom, but the enemy is really good at tricking us into thinking otherwise. The enemy is also really good at distracting us from destiny. The enemy leads us to flowing wells that are not of Jesus. So we drink. We gulp and gulp from wells of over-working, wells of lust, wells of unfaithfulness, wells of impatience, wells of blame. We drink and drink, but continue to thirst. These wells will never satisfy. Only when we drink of Jesus will we be satisfied.
Shame. Shame makes us thirsty for the covering of God. However, shame is also the thing that often times holds us back from Him. Shame causes us to forget who we are. We are the sons and daughters of the Most High, and He already carried our shame so we don’t have to.
Struggle. When we chose to put Jesus first, we are guaranteed to struggle. Even Jesus struggled right before the cross. And, just like Jesus, we must pray the same prayer as Him during our struggles. “Not my will, but Yours be done”. No matter how big our struggle, He promises to never leave or forsake us.
Satisfaction. Being thirsty is not a sin. In fact, Jesus wants us to thirst…for Him. What matters is where we go to drink when we’re thirsty. The Well of Living Water is the only place that will satisfy our thirst. He will meet all our needs. He will validate us. He will never run out of grace and forgiveness. He will never run out of thirst-quenching love.
But – there is good news. Everything leading up to the cross was already spoken by prophets in the Old Testament. It was all set-up. And the enemy was destined to lose. Jesus put Himself in our shoes, and suffered like a criminal so He could reign like a King. You see, the enemy was set-up from Day 1. Death did not trap Jesus, Jesus trapped death.
Jesus didn’t need a cure; He is the cure. Jesus didn’t need saving; He is the Savior. Jesus didn’t need a miracle; He is the miracle. Sometimes, Jesus’ greatness is quiet. And with Him, victory doesn’t always look like victory. Sometimes it’s messy and dirty. Jesus died a painful death. Naked, beaten, tired, alone. That doesn’t seem like a victory. But really, it was the greatest victory of all.
We are healed, saved, clean, forgiven, desired, loved. Despite all our inequities and shortcomings. There is a place for us. We are invited home, time and time again. We are invited to dine at the table, with the King of all Kings, the Ruler of the Universe, the Savior of humanity. All we have to do is choose. Choose to follow Him. Choose kindness, grace, patience. Choose to drink from the well of the Living God.
“Jesus, seeing that everything had been completed so that the Scripture record might also be complete, then said, ‘I’m thirsty.’…After he took the wine, Jesus said, ‘It’s done. It is complete.’ Bowing his head, he offered up his spirit.”