This evening, we join together once again this Lent season to remember the last words of Jesus. Every word of Jesus as He hung on the cross is so significant. It was with agonizing pain and desperation that Jesus would pull Himself up by the nails through His wrists to gasp in enough breath to speak. Not a single word was accidental, but very intentional and meaningful.
If you weren’t able to attend last week, be sure to check out NuValley’s Facebook page to watch Curt’s message. It was powerful and brought a true reality and fresh revelation into the words of Jesus “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
As Curt mentioned, Jesus was fully aware of everything that He endured the last week of His life including the cross. In fact, that statement is where I’ll be picking up tonight as we turn again to God’s word.
28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.
And once again, this was not an accidental occurrence. This historical account was prophesied by King David in Psalm 69 written nearly 1,000 years before it happened.
19 You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed;
all my enemies are before you.
20 Scorn has broken my heart
and has left me helpless;
I looked for sympathy, but there was none,
for comforters, but I found none.
21 They put gall in my food
and gave me vinegar for my thirst.
Gall in Hebrew is a bitter and poisonous plant. Vinegar in this case is wine vinegar which is essentially soured wine that is so old and fermented that the alcohol is gone and becomes acetic acid. Jesus was offered a drink twice. First, before the cross:
22 They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 23 Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him.
Why did He decline this wine mixed with myrrh? This was often offered to people before being crucified because this essentially dulled the senses and mind so that they were less resistant to being nailed to the cross and to make it easier to endure the pain. Jesus refused it. He chose to be fully aware and sound-minded as a choice to endure the full punishment of the cross.
Later, all four gospels include the account just before Jesus gave His life where He accepts the second drink.
Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.
This wine vinegar was likely given to Him from the wine vinegar that all Roman soldiers were issued. Unlike the first drink offered that dulled the senses, this drink called posca was like an ancient energy drink. The Roman soldiers used it to stay hydrated and to have a heightened awareness and to stimulate the senses.
The second drink given to Jesus was also offered up on a hyssop stalk. This was also extremely prophetic. A hyssop stalk was what the Israelites used to paint the lamb’s blood on their door frames to be passed over by the final Egyptian plague that brought death to the first born son of every household. It was during Passover that Jesus was crucified.
David, again prophesied about this as well.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Branches of hyssop were used to ceremonially cleanse objects all through the Old Testament. It was not coincidental that Jesus accepted the wine vinegar offered up to Him on a branch of hyssop.
Jesus, the Passover Lamb’s, blood was being poured out to cleanse us from all our sin.
Jesus said, “I thirst.”
Sure, He was dehydrated and was quite literally thirsty. However, His thirst was not only a physical one. As we learned last week, Jesus was also thirsting spiritually asking why God had forsaken Him. He was feeling the weight of all of the sin of mankind and the separation from His Heavenly Father for the first time ever as our punishment was laid upon Him.
With no other way to describe it, God’s people often describe this sense of separation from God as a parched thirst.
I spread out my hands to you;
I thirst for you like a parched land.
For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah.
1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.
1 You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.
If we simply call out to God in our thirst, He will satisfy it. He will forgive all our sins and purify us from all of our unrighteousness because He is a faithful God whose love endures all things forever!
Earlier at the feast of tabernacles, Jesus reminded us of this promise to satisfy our thirst.
37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
In fact, this was prophesied as well:
For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
Later in this prophecy, God calls out:
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
In fact, this prophecy is repeated not only by Jesus in the flesh, but He also called out in the book of Revelation and I am fully convinced that He is calling out to you and I right now:
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
If we just come to Jesus, He will satisfy our spiritual thirst so completely that we would never thirst for another source again! Listen to these declarations of Jesus:
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
Jesus said: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.
Before the cross, Jesus thirsted and He again used this as a symbolic representation to our spiritual condition to the Samaritan woman at the well.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?”
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
What do we thirst for? When our souls are downcast and we’re feeling dry and parched, what well do we go to in order to satisfy our thirst? Do we go to the Spirit of the Living God? Do we turn to the wellspring of eternal life? Do we turn to Jesus?
He alone can satisfy our thirst with good things that bring blessing and the abundance of life! He alone can bring peace to our chaos!
Jesus is calling, “Come!”, but are we listening? Do we hear His call?
If we hear His call and respond to it and turn to Jesus in our time of need, then what should we do?
Call out to those around us who are thirsty as well! Share the good news of God’s free gift of salvation!
Let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
The free gift of the water of life is available now! As long as today is called today then today is the day of salvation! Today is the day that Jesus is calling all to come to Him so that He might satisfy our thirsty souls! Only He can wash away our sins and purify us and only He can grant us eternal life and the abundance of life here and now as well! Jesus is calling to us and Jesus desires to call out to others through us.
Will we respond to the call of Jesus? Will we repeat the call and share His open invitation?
Let’s commit before God tonight that, “Yes, we will!”