I Am Thirsty
I am thirsty.
In our study of the Seven Signs in the Gospel of John, we regularly witness John’s use of certain metaphors that describe a spiritual condition or reality. This weekend we will look at the condition of blindness and how it speaks to spiritual darkness. As we approach the remembrance of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, these metaphors become even more powerful in their description of what lies beneath our material existence.
If the presence of darkness to those spiritually blind speaks to the sinful condition of man, the images of light and darkness, thirst and water, converge for remedy at Calvary as they are addressed by the dying Savior. If the particular darkness surrounding the crucifixion event gives evidence of the Father’s absence, surely the thirst of Jesus bears testimony to His longing for the Father’s presence. Jesus probably hadn’t taken a drink since the evening before. Hours had passed since that Passover meal with His disciples. This combined with the physical strain, blood loss, and dehydration had left Him parched. David spoke of this in Psalm 22:15: “My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay. My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.”
Contrast this physical signal of thirst with the spiritual reality of abandonment. The indication that our bodies give us to take a drink is mirrored by the cry of our souls for communion with God. David also speaks to the condition of thirst in the human soul: “I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him?” (Psalm 42:2)
Jesus likens our relationship with Him as the abiding presence of a fountain of living water, satisfying the thirst of a soul created for God. If we run to other resources--wells we could call them--they only satisfy for a time and can end up being as poisonous to our lives as the gall which was offered to our Lord.
In the words of A.W. Pink: “Over all the cisterns of this world’s providing, those wet and plentiful resources to which we may run, is written in letters of ineffaceable truth, “Whosoever drinks of this water shall thirst again.” Jesus quoted that phrase to a Samaritan woman who had come to draw water, but He is speaking to her as our representative.
Take a moment to consider what quenches your thirst. What also might lie behind that refreshment and speak to a deeper longing for something more. What “wells” have failed you? When have you felt God most refreshing? Where do you find Him most present with you?