April 2, 2021
I want to share with you my favorite Psalm, “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to Heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your Hand shall lead me, and Your Right Hand shall hold me.”
God became a Man. He who was boundless bound Himself. Imprisoned His Glory in Human Flesh. He felt human weakness, pain, hunger and thirst. His once limitless reach was limited to the length of an arm. His all-seeing eyes are now limited to just a few miles in front of Him. He did this for us!
We can’t comprehend the depth of His temptation. He was omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient before He placed Himself into Mary’s womb. Do you think He ever considered having His power back for even the briefest moment? Would we? When His legs were tired from walking, did He ever consider manifesting Himself to the next town?
When the heat parched His throat and lips, did He think about blinking Himself to the Caribbean for a sweet tropical drink?
If Jesus had such thoughts, He never gave in to them. Not once. Let’s wrap our heads around that. Not once did Christ use his supernatural powers for His own personal comfort. With a thought He could’ve transformed the hard earth into a tempur-pedic mattress. With a glance, He could’ve stilled the tongues of His accusers. With the wink of His eye, He could’ve stopped the soldiers who beat and whipped Him. With the tiniest consideration, He could’ve wiped away the idea of braiding together a cap of thorns that one particular soldier had. But He didn’t.
I spent years in the desert. I got thirsty. But I was not thirsty due to suffering severe shock and exhaustion or the final stages of heart failure because I was severely beaten, whipped and nailed to a cross.
Whippings still happen today. It’s a form of corporal punishment in multiple countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Maldives. It’s still common practice in multiple countries where it is technically illegal such as Thailand, South Korea and Vietnam. It was just abolished a year ago in Saudia Arabia.
Crucifixion is the most painful form of execution. It’s barbaric and inhumane. it’s sick. Despite abolishing floggings, Saudi Arabia is one of handful of countries (China, Sudan, countries in the United Arab Emirates) that can, could or still uses crucifixion as a death penalty today.
Thorns showed up in our world after the fall in the Garden of Eden. The ram was caught in a thorn bush when Abraham was going to sacrifice Isaac. The burning bush that spoke to Moses was a thorn bush. Thorns represent sin growing wild in our broken world.
We all fail miserably in terms of just being human. As humans we should be humane. To be humane means to have compassion and act civilized. Be patient with each other. Love one another. We have one job, being human and we blow it. Jesus perfected it.
The beatings, the whipping, the thorns, and the nailing to the cross is what we humans gave Him. That’s how we reciprocated His love. And He took it with perfect Joy.
In the book of Exodus, His people cried out to Moses that they thirsted. Their thirst begs the question was God with them? He always was, still is and always will be. That is God being God.
In Psalm 69, we read a prophecy fulfilled in Jesus, “For my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”
In Luke, we learn about the rich man and Lazarus. Jesus has become the rich man in Hell looking for a couple drops of cool water to soothe His burning tongue while we pass by with Father Abraham, our knowledgeable tour guide to Heaven. Jesus gave up His kingdom momentarily for us. Again, let’s just try to wrap our tiny brains around that.
Jesus, the one who invented and created water. The same one who can command and control the water. He made it, He parts and separates it, He walks on it, He stills it, He makes it whatever He needs it to be, blood, wine, whatever. He can make a fountain out of a stone. And lastly, IF He was concerned about His personal comfort He could’ve once again, flooded the earth with water. Give all of humanity His wrath that they deserve instead He took it all upon Himself.
When Jesus calls out one simple Aramaic word “Shiena” that translates to, “I thirst.” it is a victory cry for ALL people. All of us. It’s Good Friday after all. We read and hear that the cup of God’s wrath is almost empty. It is more than just a physical thirst but spiritual. An ancient Hebrew expression from this term is “No water but Torah.” The Hebrew characters reveal a human desire to seek the hidden aspects of God. His Holy Word. The thirst of our Intercessing Messiah with His outstretched arms reaching to God and to us. God and His word strengthens us. It is the truth of what sustains us in eternity.
He could’ve miracled Himself off that cross. Our eternal source of Living Water dried up on our account. He was perfect in His humanity. He was all about us. He is still with us. STILL WITH US AND ALL ABOUT US!
In the book of Revelation, it declares that, “we will hunger and thirst no more” because He thirsted. He thirsted for our salvation.
Lord you bore our sin, gave up your crown and then took up our pain, our lashes, our thorns and our nails! Let us surrender the rest to You. Our love, our faith, our trust, our focus, our everything. Amen.