Lent: Day Thirty-eight(b)

Like earlier this week, I have moved the meditation on the last seven words of Jesus to a separate posting. Having recently left the desert, the fifth phrase, “I am thirsty,” would seem an appropriate meditation, if it where not for all the rain they have been getting in the Southwest.

Last Seven Words of Jesus

Fifth phrase: “I am thirsty.”

Was this mere physical thirst, the natural, though gut-wrenching result of Jesus’ crucifixion, caused by the continuous fluid loss from first the scourging, and then the nails pulling on the tortured flesh, creating a continually reopening exit for his precious blood? Or was this something deeper, a spiritual thirst, which expressed the eternal desire of the sacrificial Lamb of God to consume the sin of the entire world?

During the previous evening, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus had prayed that this cup of agony might be taken away from him. Instead, he submitted to the Father’s will and agreed to drink from this cup that contained his Father’s wrath on the sin of all mankind. When Peter attempted to defend Jesus from those who came to arrest him in the garden, our Lord asked him, “Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”

Looking at ourselves we soon realize that we thirst for many things: significance, success, relevance, and the numerous other attempts to fill that ache deep in our soul. James and John wanted to sit at Jesus’ left and right hand in the kingdom. But while we, like them, may thirst for significance or even relevance, Jesus thirsted for sacrifice, for the agape of God. As the essence of God’s love, he thirsted for the cup of all wrath, which flowed from the winepress of sin, so that, by the offering of his sacred blood, he could transform it into the cup of all forgiveness, the communion cup of eternal life.

Would that our thirst for significance also be transformed with the same kind of commitment to sacrifice into to a thirst for righteousness, so that our dry cracked lives could be re-energized by streams of living water washing us in holiness and cleansing us into the radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, instead holy and blameless before the Lord our God, ready to be given to his Son as his beautiful Bride.

So… What are you thirsty for?