#5 (The “7 Last Sayings of Christ” Series)
TEXT: John 19:28-29; 4:4-42 Exodus 15:22-25
INTRO: Whenever we think of Christ we are confronted with a number of amazing paradoxes: He is the Lion and the Lamb ... one an image of power, majesty, and might; the other a picture of innocence, weakness, and sacrifice. He is the King and the Servant in Isaiah; a contrast that the Jews found difficult to accept in one person. He is both man and God, but not 50/50, He is 100% man, 100% God.
Here on the cross we see another paradox with Christ, He who is "Living Water" cries out "I Thirst!"... how can this be?
This cry of Christ's from the cross demonstrated the humanity of Christ and also reflected the anguish of the soul as He bore the sins of many! Since this cry followed the cry of "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" it may reflect the inner anguish of thirst that goes beyond just the physical, it may also reflect the "thirst" of the soul for God's presence.
ILLUS: Christ did not come to do away with suffering; He did not come to explain it; He came to fill it with His presence. Paul Claudel -- James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 20.
Jesus by thirsting understood our humanity and our dryness of soul, He who conquered the grave now invites us to come and fill that thirst: "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink." (John 7:37) We need not "thirst"... for we can be filled!
PROP. SENT: The Scriptures teach us Jesus embraced our "thirst" so that He can satisfy it, He is the "living water" that alone can fill the thirst in our soul for God.
I. GREAT DRYNESS! Jn. 19:28-29; Ex. 15:22-25
A. Struggle! Jn. Ex. -24
1. Christ's struggle was a bitter one ... He who was "living water" was now experiencing "thirst" in a profound way!
a. Life sometimes brings times of dryness.
Traveling through the wilderness
2. When this "dryness" hits we will seek to find a way to fulfill that thirst:
a. Some will attempt to fill this thirst in the soul with alcohol, drugs, busyness, sexual affairs, or a myriad of other things.
b. What the soul is thirsty for however cannot be filled with these things, they are nothing more than just "bitter waters" which will poison, not satisfy our thirst!
The journey of life like Israel's doesn't take long before we experience
the moments of dryness,
a. God had a plan then, and He has one now too!
b. God, through Christ's death on the cross, advertises that we can come to Him who understands our thirst and He will fill us!
ILLUS: There wasn't much money in 1932, so it was
no time to buy a drugstore. Then
grasshoppers ate all the crops in the region. This, in turn was followed by a dust
bowl, a long drought, temperatures for ten days straight of over 100
degrees. So the drugstore seemed
about to fold. Nevertheless, Ted
and Dorothy Husted were believers in God. They asked themselves: "How can we get these people into the
drugstore?" They said, "We'll put
up some signs." So, they went 25
miles in each direction and put up signs that read, "Free Ice Water at the Wall
Drugstore, Wall, S.D." They put up
signs at 10 miles; and at 5 miles the sign read: "Hold on! It's Only 5 Miles to the Wall Drugstore
and Free Ice Water." They got so
enthusiastic that they even put up a sign at
4. Have we let people know that in God's house there is plenty of refreshment to satisfy the thirsting of their soul?
a. This "thirsty" world needs Christ!
b. It is up to us to let them know where to find "living water," we need to advertise it!
B. Soothed! Jn. Ex.
1. Jesus is offered a drink that temporarily revives His physical strength, but it was the triumphant cry of "IT IS FINISHED" that follows that satisfies His real thirst ... for He has conquered sin!
God had a solution for
c. Here at the cross we find a tree again that turns the bitter waters into fresh water ... it is the cross of Jesus that changes the bitter waters to refreshing water to quench the greatest thirst of man's soul!
2. Have we accepted the "living water" of God to quench our thirsting soul?
3. The cross and Jesus' suffering and thirst was God's love letter to us, His way of saying He cares, that He loves us beyond measure!
4. How can we resist such love?
ILLUS: According to legend, the valentine takes its
name from a young Christian who once lived in ancient
Beyond his cell window, and almost beyond reach, grew a cluster of violets. He picked some heart-shaped leaves and pierced them to spell the words, "Remember your Valentine," then sent them off by a friendly dove. On the next day and the next he sent more messages that simply said, "I love you." Thus did the valentine have its beginning. On Valentine's Day people of all ages remember those they love by sending valentines.
God loves us and He sends His blessings to show His affection. Best of all He sent us the gift of His Son to be our Savior and Lord. Send God a valentine -- your repentant, grateful heart to show Him He has not loved in vain. – Source Unknown
5. Christ alone can satisfy the thirsting soul!
II. GOD'S DESIRE Jn. 4:4-42
A. Sinner Jn. 4:4-27
1. Jesus Himself suffered for us, He came to call sinners into the joy of salvation.
a. Christ is tired and rests at a well when a Samaritan woman shows up at to draw water alone.
(1. This alone tells us much about this woman, most women in a community drew water at early morning or toward evening when the sun was low in the sky, this being the "6th hour" (Jewish time means Noon) it was the hottest time of the day; this woman must have been an outcast by the other women in town to come at such a time alone.
(2. As the details of the story unfold we discover how true this is, she is living an immoral life in town, many sexual partners and so she is scorned by the town.
b. The fact that Jesus as a Jew would even address this Samaritan woman caught her off guard as well, there was great racial prejudice between Jews and Samaritans.
c. But this is why Jesus came ... to call all sinners!
2. As Jesus attempts to reach her, He uses her reason for coming to this well to move her from a natural thirst to a spiritual thirst.
a. She came for physical water, Jesus was there to offer her spiritual water.
b. She came as an outcast, Jesus was about to make her accepted by God.
c. She came thirsty of body but would find a quenching of her soul in Christ!
3. Jesus moves her from her natural need for water to her eternal need of cleansing!
a. Notice how often she tries to divert the issue from her spiritual need to arguments over theology and religion?
(1. She attempts to argue over where people are suppose to worhsip.
(2. She focuses on issues of religion rather than issues of righteousness.
(3. How often does this still happen today?
b. Yet Jesus keeps coming back to the real issue ... her need of salvation!
4. We cannot ignore the real need of our life when we stand in front of the crucified savior!
ILLUS: In the book, The Fire of Your Life,
Maggie Ross recounts the story of Emma, a survivor of the Holocaust, who
regularly at 4 p.m. each day stood outside a Manhattan church and screamed
insults at Jesus. Finally the
pastor, Bishop C. Kilmer Myers, went outside and said to Emma, "Why don't you go
inside and tell him?" She disappeared into the church. An hour went by, and the bishop, worried,
decided to look in on her. He found
Emma, prostrate before the cross, absolutely still. Reaching down, he touched her shoulder.
She looked up with tears in her
eyes and said quietly, "After all, he was a Jew, too." -- Diane Karay.
5. As long as we stay away from Christ it is not hard to criticize religion, to argue theology, to cry out in anguish over human suffering; and what seems like the apparent indifference of God to human misery ... until you stand and face the Christ who suffered and died for you hanging on that cross!
a. Once we come to the cross of Christ and see Him who gave Himself for us all the bitterness begins to turn to brokenness!
b. He who cries "I thirst" can now satisfy our thirst for He is the "Living Water!"
6. Once Jesus declared to her that He was the hoped for Messiah, that new life could be hers, that her thirsting soul had found the right water that can satisfy, only then did she leave a different person than when she at first came to this well!
B. Salvation! Jn. 4:28-42
1. This woman who had come for physical water had a major change in focus now that she had been offered "living water" by Jesus!
a. In fact notice in verse 28: "Then, LEAVING HER WATER JAR, the woman went back to the town..."
b. She left behind what she had come for originally!!
c. Once you experience "LIVING WATER" all other things pale in comparison!
d. Suddenly she wasn't thirsty anymore!
2. Her quenched thirst of the soul made her forget the physical thirst she had originally come to satisfy!
a. Now the only thing she could think of was going back to town and inviting others to experience what she had experienced!
b. Is this true with us too? Has the joy of our salvation so satisfied our souls that we cannot but help tell others to come and be filled too?
c. Her concern at staying away from others had changed with her heart's change ... now she wanted to reach out to others, no more coming alone at noon so she could shun the crowd that judged her!
3. Salvation had invaded the dryness of her soul and she can only think of the refreshment of her spirit now and the need for others to find it too!
4. Notice in verse 31 however that Jesus' own disciples seem to miss the importance here of what happened and their thoughts are only on the physical!!!
a. They missed the whole point, were they any better than the Samaritan woman when she at first could only understand Jesus' comments as referring to natural water?
b. How could the very disciples of Jesus be no better than this Samaritan woman at understanding spiritual realities?
c. Even Christians can get sidetracked and forget what we have in Christ!
d. Jesus has to correct their thinking from physical food to spiritual food just as He had done with the Samaritan woman about phsycial water to spiritual water!
e. In this sense they were no better than the Samaritans that they felt superior too ... they needed to see their own spiritual need.
5. How quickly we get caught up in the physical needs of this world, but there is a greater need of both sinners and saints ... the need of the soul for Christ!
6. When the woman returned with the town's people they all prevailed upon Jesus to stay 2 days, and many came to know Christ as savior!
a. Their physical needs took second place to their spiritual need for these 2 days as they sat at the feet of Jesus!
b. What takes precedence in our lives, the physical or the spiritual?
7. Christ is waiting to satisfy our souls ... but we must choose!
ILLUS: Some years back as you traveled along I-10
8. How will you fill the thirst of your soul?
9. Christ is waiting for you to come and drink the "living waters" of God, only Christ as "living water" can satisfy the thirst of your soul.
CONCLUSION: He who was "living water" cries out in thirst as He bears our sins, a dryness much deeper than just physical thirst. Jesus expresses the thirst that goes deep to the soul and is filled only by Christ Himself. In John -39 Jesus said, "... if anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." If you're thirsty He can satisfy, come and drink!