|Vol. 13 No. 4 April 2011||
Ernest S. Underwood
A man went to the Sheriff and complained, “I want to find out who owns the house I’m living in.” The Sheriff asked him, “Well, where do you pay your rent?” His reply was, “I ain’t never paid no rent.” He was asked, “How long have you lived there?” He replied, “Nine years.” The Sheriff asked, “What’s your complaint?” The man said, “The roof has started to leak, and if the landlord don’t fix it quick, I’m gonna move!” Every organization (the church included) has its share of folks who don’t pay their rent. Oh, I’m not necessarily talking just about money. Some people do not contribute time, labor or influence. Likewise, they don’t add to the good atmosphere by being encouraging either. What do they do? They just stay until things don’t suit them and then they threaten, “I’m gonna move!” Does that sound like you? I certainly hope not.
Looking up from the ground, you could see what was left of His weak, bleeding, and torn body. He had been hanging there on that tree in great agony, suffering for hours. If you were there, you heard His words. “Woman, behold your son!” and “Behold your mother!” he said in care of His mother. Then, His innocent lips uttered the words, “I thirst!” Only two words. Two simple words of need. In fact, it’s not really an unusual request for anyone to make. All humans are designed with a need for water, and they will seek it quite strongly. I am certain that you’ve moaned the words, “I’m thirsty!” Or maybe on a burning summer day you’ve cried, “I’m so thirsty!”
He had every reason to be thirsty, with the greatly dehydrated tissues within His body sending their urgent messages to the brain, longing for relief. The cry He expressed fulfilled the Scripture. The Messianic 22nd Psalm foretold of His condition, “My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death.” These words come from the parched lips of a Man dying in deep anguish! Have you ever experienced that kind of thirst?
Yet, this Man was different. Let us not forget that He was the Son of God (Matthew 3:17). He was and is Deity in the fullest sense (1 Corinthians 8:6; John 1:14; Philippians 2:5-11)! The One hanging on that cross is the same One who created the entire universe (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16). Therefore, the one who made from nothing all the oceans, seas, lakes, rivers and ponds was thirsty? The One who invented the subatomic particles that form the atoms contained in H2O, the God who made the tears in your eyes said, “I thirst”!
Do you realize the great depth of meaning in that short declaration? Why would He endure such pain and thirst? “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). The Creator and the Supreme Being of this universe did that for me, and I have the audacity to complain? I possess the stubbornness to disobey His commands, and I think life as a faithful Christian is too tough? Just maybe I need to step back and take a good look at myself in perspective. “I thirst!” Do you truly grasp the depth of love and sacrifice in those two words?