Friday, April 14, 2006

The Thirst of Life- Good Friday- 2006

Have you ever been thirsty? I mean really, really thirsty? The kind of thirst where your tongue sticks to the roof of your mouth, the kind of thirst where you get dizzy and your head hurts, the kind of thirst that doesn’t seem to be quenched by just water. Maybe it was that time backpacking in Yosemite, or that week of two-a-day practices during football season. Perhaps it was after a hard day of work in the yard. We all know what it is to be thirsty. Without water a human can only last about a week.

A True Story…

It all started in 1967 with a University of Florida research team. Their goal was to develop a drink to rapidly replace fluids and help prevent dehydration, and heat illnesses such as muscle cramping and heat exhaustion experienced by athletes. The beverage they created was tested on members of the Florida Gators football team and became known as “Gatorade.”

That season, fueled by Gatorade, the Gators had fewer problems with dehydration and showed greater endurance. They actually developed a reputation for outplaying their opponents in the final half and became known as the “Second-Half Team.” They even made it to their first ever Orange Bowl, and true to their nickname, came from behind to win a storybook game.

Since that day, Gatorade has become the most researched sports beverage in the world. The Gatorade formula is continually tested by research scientists around the globe and proven on the world’s best playing fields. Nothing beats Gatorade to replenish what athletes lose so they can continue to give it all they’ve got. There’s a reason this stuff was created.

Gatorade may be able to quench some thirst but there are other things in life that we are thirsty for. We thirst for the desires of our hearts. A new car, and new job, a bigger bank account. As sinners we thirst for the things in this world. We thirst for things we have no business thirsting for. We become obsessed with status, or climbing the corporate ladder, we thirst for things that only matter to us. More often than not our thirst is never really quenched. We always want more. Our desires take over and we have no control. These things all promise to quench our thirst but in the end we are just as thirsty as we began.

Even in this season of lent we live lives that are thirsty. We are thirsty for Easter to come; we thirst for the alleluia of our lives to return. But it seems that everywhere we turn there is chaos, riots, wars, and protests. We are thirsty for some normalcy, some hope, and some peace. Our world seems to be stuck in the season of lent. Our thirsts are not quenched. Our lives seem hopeless. And on this Good Friday, all seems lost. The shadow of the cross ominously covers the face of the earth. The storm clouds have arrived. The end is near.

But let me tell you another true story…

It all started well before 1967 with a loving God and his son Jesus Christ. Their goal was to develop a plan to rapidly fix and help prevent death, and illnesses such as cancer, and heartache experienced by all people. The plan he created was for all members of the human race and became known as “Salvation”

That season fueled by Salvation, the human race had fewer problems with death and showed greater endurance. They actually developed a reputation for outplaying the enemy and became to be known as Followers of Christ. They even made it to the far reaches of the earth for the first time, and true to their calling they began to win the world for Christ.

Since that day, the plan of Salvation has become the most researched plan in the world. The Salvation formula has been continually tested by skeptics around the globe and proven in worlds mission fields. Nothing beats the plan of Salvation to give to the human race what they could never get on their own, so now they can give it all they’ve got. There’s a reason this Jesus came.

Jesus came to quench a thirst. As our text for today tells us, Jesus was thirsty. When he said, “I am thirsty” it was more than just the fulfillment of scripture. His thirst brought him to that very place. He was following his own teachings and he is blessed because he had a hunger and a thirst for righteousness, our righteousness.

The only thing that can quench our thirst is HIS thirst on our behalf. His thirst to quench our thirst brought him to Calvary. His desire that we have a right relationship with him drove him that first Good Friday. By his actions, he provided that life giving water he promised to woman at the well, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Indeed we all have that spring of water that flows in us. Without this living water we cannot last, we will die of thirst. The bread of life that was broken for me and for you last night in the Lord’s Supper has today been broken himself on the cross.

As we remember the death of Christ today, let us not forget HIS thirst on our behalf, and his plan of Salvation. For this is the very reason that Jesus was came. AMEN!


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