Good Friday 2014 – Seven Last Words of Christ
Our church, Community Presbyterian Church (CPC) in Danville, CA is having a Good Friday service where we will go over what is known as ‘The Seven Last Words of Christ.’ These are the seven things that Jesus said from the cross that are recorded in the various Gospels. You can find them in Luke 23:34, Luke 23:43, John 19:26-27, Matthew 27:46, John 19:28, John 19:30, and Luke 23:46.
I was honored and am humbled to be asked to read one of them and give a five-minute talk about the word. I was given the words “I am thirsty” found in John 19:28. How does one take what Jesus literally said from the cross and even attempt to explain it or do it some kind of justice? Wow. I have been praying about this for well over a month and today is the day I will speak on it. This blog contains what I have discerned that God wants me to talk about. May God use these words to bless you and may you have an extraordinary encounter with the Risen Christ this Easter weekend!
Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”
Jesus said – “I am thirsty.”
There is certainly an enormous amount of theology wrapped up in this simple statement. The words on Scripture being fulfilled refer to both Psalm 22 and Psalm 69. And these words recorded here in the Gospel of John remind us of a previous story in John’s gospel. Back in chapter 4 we see Jesus encountering a Samaritan woman at a well and Jesus himself declaring that He is the source of living water and whoever drinks of His water will never thirst. The woman responds by using the same word that is used here: “Give me some of this water so that I may not thirst.” So how ironic it is that Jesus now appears to be in the same position the woman was earlier, sitting at the well and thirsty for water.
But let’s not spend too much time on this word that means, “I am thirsty.” The words are normal, commonplace. You and I have said them many times. In fact, I suspect we say them everyday – sometimes I say them out loud to my wife; “Hey honey could you grab me a drink; I’m thirsty!” Other times I say them to myself in my head and just go get myself something to drink without even thinking about it. No, it’s not the words that are so powerful as if that is why they were written here in Scripture for all to see. It is the man saying those words and his name, IT IS HIS NAME that carries the power!
In Greek his name is Jesou Christou. In English we call him Jesus Christ. And it is he, our Lord and savior who utter these words. And at this time; Jesus is pinned to the cross members; He is dying from his wounds; And he cries out to the very ones who are killing him telling them that he thirsts, hoping that they might do something about it.
Twelve years ago I came to this church for the first time. It had been thirty years since I had entered any church. I had been working hard at two Silicon Valley startups that are now in the Fortune 500 and life was pretty good. But every time I came here, sitting right out here, I cried. Something in the sermon or the songs or the prayer touched me and tears came to my eyes. Looking back on it I realize now that I was quite literally dying of thirst and I didn’t even know it. But Jesus did! And he used the pastors and various members of this church to do something about my thirst.
Folks, there are a lot of people out there who are thirsty. Some know it. Many, like me, have no clue. Please:
Give them water.
Share with them the living water that has been given to you.
Yes, it is up to them to drink it.
But it is our responsibility to offer it up.
Listen for the cry of those around you saying; “I thirst!”
And then point them to Jesus.
He will do the rest.