페이지 정보작성자 최고관리자 작성일15-12-29 22:59 조회748회 댓글0건
*In preparing this sermon in series, I have gained a great spiritual insight from Erwin W. Lutzer’s Cries from the Cross (Chicago: Moody Press, 2002).
<John 19: 28>
New dawn, in the back alley
I write your name, Democracy
My head has long since forgotten you
My footsteps have long, long since forgotten you
Only the last thread of hope
The memory of burning heart, everlasting thirst
Write your name in secrecy, Democracy
Write your name in secrecy.
With burning thirst
With burning thirst
Long lives, Democracy
This is the poem from poet Jiha Kim, titled “Burning Thirst,” a popular poem recited by many young people of South Korea who yearned for democracy during the 1970s. The verses clearly show us the yearning for democracy by the people oppressed under dictatorship.
There is a verse that we should pay attention to. It is “burning thirst.” Burning is usually associated with fire and thirst is usually
Poet Jiha Kim is a person who truly felt thirst while imprisoned. He knows the burning sensation of extreme thirst, where the mouth and the throat seem like they are on fire. It is true. Extreme thirst is usually related with fire. When one is extremely thirsty, it feels as if the mouth and the throat are on fire.
“Burning thirst” herein lies the fifth topic of the seven words from the Cross. Let’s take a look at verse 28 of today’s scripture. “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!””
The important thing to remember is that Jesus, in an effort to fulfill the Bible, said He was thirsty. Then which word of the Bible was Jesus trying to fulfill by saying that He was thirsty?
We can find the word associated with ‘thirst’ in Psalms 69: 21 of the Old Testament. Several hundreds of years ago, King David proclaimed, “They also gave me gall for my food, And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”
Gall refers to gall bladder. When David asked for something to eat to fulfill his hunger, his enemies gave him the bitter gall bladder to eat. When he asked for something to drink out of thirst, they gave him the acrid vinegar.
Bible scholars interpret this word from Psalm 69: 21 as being realized through Jesus on the Cross. Let’s first look at Matthew 27: 34. “they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink.” Matthew records that they forced Jesus, who had just arrived at Golgotha, to drink a cup of sour wine laced with bitter gall bladder.
Also take a look at John 19: 29, which immediately follows today’s scripture. “Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth.” They had Jesus quench His thirst with sour wine.
Then what does this ‘sour wine with gall’ that Matthew mentions represent? This gall, Bible scholars believe, refers to opium. Therefore, sour wine with gall would act as a pain reliever. The ‘sour wine’ that John refers to is actually wine with vinegar, which would also temporarily act as a pain reliever.
The important thing to remember is that Jesus cried out “I am thirsty” to fulfill the words of the Bible.
Then why must Jesus have thirst? Why did He have to writhe in pain atop the Cross?
First, Jesus did so to show His true humanity. Burning thirst was not some made-up phenomenon. When the Gospel of John was being recorded, the greatest paganistic religious threat to Christianity was Gnosticism. Gnostics believed in dualism, whose major tenet is that the spirit and physical material were polar opposites of one another. They considered the spirit was the good, and the visceral bad.
Therefore, they believed that God was purely spiritual, an abstract being who could not take physical form.
Of course, the Incarnation of Christ ran smack against the dualism beliefs. They could not accept the fact that the Son of God took on a physical form an evil physical form called the human body and came to the earth. The Gnostics did not believe that Jesus took on the evil human body form and came to earth.
Instead, they preached Docetism the belief that Jesus did not actually take on a physical human form, but that He merely donned the outer shell of humans. On the outside, they believed Jesus looked like a human; yet, He really was a complete spiritual being. The Gnostics stressed the divinity of Jesus, while completely ignoring His humanity.
To the Gnostics, Jesus became a phantom an apparition who possessed no visceral characteristics. They even went as far as to say that when Jesus walked on the ground, He left no footprints. They believed that even when He was crucified, Jesus was not really in pain; that his pain was merely feigned. They believed that Jesus, the Son of God, was 100% spiritual, a completely divine being who could never take on an evil form, such as the human body.
But when Jesus cried out that He was thirsty on the Cross, He shows us that He is indeed human, who possessed all the frail characteristics of the human body. The Gnostic belief is incorrect. It is simply not Biblical.
Jesus is a complete, 100% God Who showed us the endless love of God. But Jesus is also a complete, 100% human Who took on the burden of all of our collective sins and shortcomings. So He ate food, slept, and angered at injustice just like the rest of us. Above all, He writhed in pain on the Cross, from the unbearable burning thirst.
According to a pathologist, Jesus died of excessive bleeding, exhaustion, exposure, shock, and suffocation. These entire physical phenomenons are closely related to dehydration. Crucifixion, in fact, was an excruciatingly painful punishment that aimed to slowly
Jesus would have been severely exhausted, hanging from the Cross for six hours, bleeding and sweating profusely. The scorching heat of the Middle East would have been unbearable. His lips probably became scorched dry. His throat would have blackened from the unbearable, unquenched thirst. That is why He cried out that He was thirsty.
Do not forget the fact that by crying out He was thirsty, Jesus was showing the rest of us that He possessed frail bodies like rest of us did.
Second, Jesus did so to obey the will of God. Jesus is the spring water. He tells us in John 7: 37-38, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
But Jesus, who quenches human thirst, thirsting for water Himself? Isn’t that a little strange? If Jesus is a complete God, then did He not create the five oceans and the countless rivers? To have the One who created all the water of the world thirst for water? Is He not the One who calmed the violent, stormy seas? Why did the Son of God, Who performed countless number of miracles for others, not create even a drop of water to quench His own thirst?
The answer is all too clear. He did so to follow the will of His Father. He was thirsting to rescue all of us from our sins and death. In fact, Jesus could have created all the refreshing spring waters to wet His drying lips; but to obey the will of God to save the mankind, He did not do so.
Let’s think about this. When He started His work, He created bread out of stones. He performed this miracle because man is to live not solely according to the bread he eats but according to the words out of God’s mouth. But He did not perform the miracle of creating spring water to alleviate His own thirst when He was about to die on the Cross. To die of thirst like a convict was the will of God, the design by which everyone will receive salvation.
We all need to remember that in His cry of ‘I am thirsty’ lies Jesus’ complete obedience to God.
Third, Jesus did so to quench our thirst eternally. The first pain we face in our lives is thirst. The first thing that babies do when they are born after spending some comfortable months in their mothers’ wombs is crying. It is because they are thirsty. Humans suffer from thirst their entire lives.
When mines collapse, the most painful thing that people inside a mine suffer through is thirst. It is not hunger. If people have enough water to address their thirst, then they can survive for quite some time without food. We need to constantly hydrate ourselves, since we live with this visceral thirst throughout our lives.
But we also suffer through spiritual thirst. This spiritual thirst is far more tenacious and fearsome than our physical thirst. Our spiritual thirst cannot be quenched easily it is a bottomless thirst. Let’s think about this. Today, countless numbers of people try to satiate this spiritual thirst through alcohol, gambling, and sex. But such physical methods can never quench our spiritual thirst.
In the fourth chapter of John, a story of Samaritan woman from the city of Sychar appears. This woman had five husbands; yet she was not content. So, in John 4: 13-14, He speaks His famous words. “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
It is true. Secular and physical methods of quenching our spiritual thirst will lead to greater thirst. Jeremiah 2: 13 clearly denounces such foolishness. “For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
We now must return to Jesus, the source of the spring water. Only then can we eliminate our basic thirst. Heed the words of Isaiah 55: 1. “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”
Because He thirsted on the Cross, He quenched all of our spiritual thirsts. To quench our endless thirst, Jesus suffered through burning thirst on the Cross. To become the everlasting spring water, He suffered through the final thirst.
Therefore, we must be people who thirst of God. Not the people who thirst after secular or carnal desires, but those who thirst of Jesus, Who is our path, our truth, and our life. Like a deer that seek clean stream water, our souls must seek to find Jesus.
I want to share an inspirational story from a book that I read before I wrap up this morning. This is a testament from a devout Christian who was attending the University of Cincinnati in Ohio towards the end of 1960s. This student got to know Charles Murray, his classmate who was also an Olympic diver.
This student tried hard to introduce Jesus to Murray. This diver, who did not grow up in a Christian home, took great interest and listened to his friend. After a while, having thoroughly introduced Jesus to Murray, the student asked if he was willing to accept Lord Jesus as his Savior. All of a sudden, Murray hung his head low, full of guilt. Then he gave a very negative reply, saying that he was not ready to receive Jesus.
After this day, Murray started to speak less and began avoiding the student. Then one day, the student received a phone call from Murray. Murray asked what verse of the Bible he must read in order to receive salvation. The student happily told Murray the verses that would be of help to him. Murray thanked him, but said that he could not meet the student. Then several more days passed without any news or word from Murray. Then the student finally heard that Murray finally received Jesus as his Savior. How Murray did so is the touching part of this story.
Because he was an Olympic diver, Murray had the special privilege of using the university’s indoor pool anytime he wanted. On the day he decided to receive Jesus as his Savior, Murray went to the pool from 10: 30 until 11:00 at night to swim and practice diving. That night was in October, and a bright full moon shone in the night. The pool had a glass ceiling, so on such a bright night, no electrical light was required; moonlight lit the pool, from the ceiling to the floor.
To practice his first dive, Murray climbed up to the highest platform. At that moment, the Holy Spirit moved Murray and enabled him to understand that he was a sinner. The words of the Bible that he had heard from his friend, as well as all the experiences that he shared with Murray, sprang up from the deepest parts of his heart.
Full of these thoughts, Murray stepped onto the platform and took his ready position by extending both of his arms and keeping his legs together. At that instant, Murray happened to glance and look at his own shadow cast on the wall by the bright moonlight. His shadow was an image of the Cross. Extending his arms and taking deep breaths to balance himself before the dive made him look like the Cross.
Upon looking at his own shadow, Murray could not longer bear the weight of his sins. With a shattered heart, he collapsed on the platform, crying and praying to God. It was a prayer asking for forgiveness of sins and salvation. Murray received God like this, some 20 feet above the ground.
A moment later, the electric lights in the pool area suddenly turned on. The pool utility man had come in to check on the pool. And Murray made a startling discovery. In the bright electric light, Murray saw that there was no water in the swimming pool! The pool had been emptied out earlier in the day for repairs.
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