Jesus Thirsts

John 19a.png Later, knowing that everything had been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.                                 John 19:28-29

These words are said every day by millions of people all over the world. However, few people know genuine physical thirst at its worst. Those who have experienced it, tell blood-curdling tales of the suffering it causes. Think of a person lost in the desert without water, the scorching sun burning mercilessly down on them. In wartime, when ships had been torpedoed, the survivors were left adrift in lifeboats, surrounded by an ocean but without any water to drink.

This thirst is only part of human thirst, it is a physical thirst. But then there is the other kind of thirst, and that is spiritual thirst, thirsting for God, for salvation and for everlasting life! We are standing at Golgotha again today where we have brought our sin and have come for forgiveness. We have brought our corruption to received perfection, our rebellion to learn humbleness. We have come to the cross with our despair to receive faith, with darkness to receive eternal light, with our sorrow to receive joy. We have come to Golgotha with our physical and spiritual thirst to received the Water of Life.

Christ was hanging on the cross and he couldn’t live much longer. The darkness has passed and the sun shining again. The pain of His wounds and the blistering eastern sun were accompanied by a consuming thirst. This was one of the most painful aspects of death on the cross. It is said that with a crucifixion, one’s thirst is worse than the pain. Jesus had now been on the cross for three hours. After all the preceding suffering and scorn, He now had to endure also the unbearable thirst. 

As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, O God, I thirst for God, the living God.                                  Psalm 42:1-2

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

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Feeling Forsaken

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From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,” lema sabachthani? (which means) ” My God, my God, why have you forsake me?”

We are standing on Golgotha and watching in dismay how Jesus is dying a painful death, so that we may be united with God. Christ has prayed for His enemies, He has given a murderer the assurance of salvation. He has made provision for his mother and brother. Now a heavy silence rests on Golgotha, because darkness has descended. Then the air is split by an agonized cry: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Christ was not delirious, he was forsaken by God! He did not think he was forsaken by God: He was forsaken by God! This was all for our sakes. Forsaken! Is there a sadder word in any language in the world? Forsaken by your friends, your parents, your people and family? Jesus knew all of this. But now he had experienced the greatest rejection: being forsaken by God! The soul of Christ suffering was not the suffering of his body, it was the suffering of his soul.

Because he suffered, he is able to identify with us when darkness settles in our lives, and we all know such times. No torment we know could ever equal Christ’s torment. When we suffer, we once again realize God’s unshakable faith in his bottomless sorrow. Even if it was dark around him and he felt God forsaken, it was always, “My God”! He knew that he would never drift out of the sphere of God’s love. Thus we should also believe without a doubt that because Jesus died, we cannot drift away from God’s love.

Grace and Peace To You My Friends

 

“Here Is Your Son”

 

 

John 19

  Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved, standing nearby he said to her, “Woman here is your son, “ and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, the disciple took her into his home.      John 19:25-27

Our Scripture today  illustrates love born of the sincere heart of a child. Jesus was truly God but also truly human, yet without sin. He knew how much Mary had to suffer. Only love allows one to understand the suffering of another. The love of Christ always burnt brightly, for the entire sinful world, but also is tenderness for His only family and especially for his mother. Christ’s last command concerned his mother. He forgot himself, his own needs, his own sorrow. Human love was an important priority in Jesus’ life. In his dying hour and in his sorrow, he took care of his mother. If anyone dare say that they are taking care of their parents, let them look up at the cross on Golgotha and remember Jesus’ example. Jesus was never more thankful, tender and sensitive than at that moment. He loved his own until the very end. Jesus had already saved the man on the cross next to him, he had already prayed for his enemies, but he did not forget his mother! Human bonds bring responsibilities, responsibilities that remain even after our death. Christ’s suffering and death make us very aware of this. And so on the cross on Golgotha connects the two richest words on earth: mother and Jesus!

 

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friens

Jesus In Gethsemane

Matthew 26   Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

                                                                       Matthew 26:36-38

Gethsemane! How charged with holy perceptions, this name is to the believer! Today we come to a stop at Via Dolorosa-Christ’s road of sorrow. Gethsemane means “olive press.” Cedron, and move when we cross the bridge and move on into the shadows of the olive trees. Let us take off our shoes and bow our heads, for Jesus was here He was to wrestle in prayer with God. Gethsemane symbolizes the crushing weight Jesus carried on the cross. Christ prayed His high priest prayer for others, then He prayed for God to equip Him for His massive offering; to make the impossible possible, to bear the unbearable.

Is this the only way to save the world? asked our Savior. “It is not possible to find another way? Earlier, Satan showed Jesus the other, easier way. During Christ’s temptation in the desert, Satan said, “I will give it all to You, if You will only bow down and worship me.” (Matthew 4:9) Jesus didn’t want to take the easier way without God’s approval. Here in Gethsemane it was not Jesus’ body that was crucified, but His will. Our Lord placed His wishes and desires on the Father’s altar. Although the cup of suffering made Him shudder, He still accepted it from the Father’s hand. He let His will become His Father’s. He bowed in obedience and carried the burden of the world to Golgotha.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

You Can Go Home!

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In the Gospel of Luke Jesus talks to his disciples about the Parable of the Lost Son: read these words of Jesus: There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, Father give me my share of the estate. So he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. When he came to his senses, he said, How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death. I will set out and go back to my father and say to him. Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants. So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him, he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

                                                                                  Luke 15:11-20

We might as well say it again, that it is never easy to get up and tackle the journey back to the Father’s house. People will make it difficult for you. Like the Prodigal Son, church-goers and others will make you feel unwelcome. there will be those who will remind you of your sinfulness. Even a preacher may say hurtful things at times. But one thing is certain: you don’t ever have to doubt the Father’s warm welcome. So carry on walking and head straight home back to God.

And so we see the lost son coming over the last hill, heart pounding. Only one refrain repeats itself: I’m going home! Then he reaches the last rise, and there he see the father’s house in all its glory. He is crying unashamedly now. And then, is it possible? he sees his father, and his is coming to meet him! Do you know that the last rise in the road? Golgotha! That’s what they call that hill. “The Father is coming to meet me,” you say. “But I see a cross standing there. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that every one who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

“And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20) Come, let us kneel before the Father in amazement. Let us thank God for the wonder of being able to go home. For there is nothing my friend that can ever separate you from the love of God through Jesus Christ the son, so hold you head high ever through we are sinners you and I are sons and daughter of the Most High King Jesus Christ, welcome home!

Dear Lord Jesus

Thank you for always welcoming us home to you with such love and compassion and with open arms. In spite of the many sins we have done you never stop loving your children. 

Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

 

No Compromise

Matthew 6c.pngOur God is a holy God, and He makes no compromise with sin, He doesn’t tolerate it at all! In this day and age, even the idea of punishment is becoming outdated. Children must not be punished anymore because it infringes on their personal right. But sin remains sin before God and we pay a high price for it. Now the sinful human grabs at straws. Is God not merciful? He is after all, love. But He is also just and holy! We must not play His holiness off against His love. Of course God is merciful, The fact that we are alive is proof of God’s mercy. But His love is by no means weak, it is strong and holy. It gives much but also demands much. God is merciful, but God is also just! God is just, but God is also merciful! Do you see the difference between the two concepts? Come with me to Golgotha, there the impossible became possible! There the tension was broken when Jesus was broken. Their righteousness and mercy flowed into one.

Jesus had to die for the sake of God’s righteousness. He paid the highest price so that we, the rebels, could be set free. He endured God’s wrath that we could experience His love. He was forsaken against by God so that we could know God, never to be forsaken again. He carried our curse so that we might be showered with blessings. The message of Golgotha is: God is righteous! God is Love! That is why Jesus teaches us to pray, “Forgive us our trespass, or sins or some Christians may say debts, it all means the same, we have all sin and have fallen short of the Glory of God. But through God’s love that he sent His one and only son Jesus into this world to die for all sinners (all of mankind) so that we will never be separated from God.

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Grace and Peace to You My Friends