FIRST UMC – NEBRASKA CITY
5TH SUNDAY IN LENT
SUNDAY APRIL 7TH 2019
TEXTS: JOHN 19: 28 ISAIAH 55: 1-2
THEME: DISTRESS: FIFTH-MILE MIRACLE
We continue with Lenten study by Steven Furtick: Seven -Mile Miracle: Experiencing the Last Words of Christ as Never Before. Published by Multnomah Books 178, Colorado Springs CO.
Last week we discussed the place of Abandonment. Jesus felt abandoned by his father on that important moment. In going through the abandonment Jesus took away our pain. He promised never to let us walk through pain without a companion and his death on the cross became our victory. Today we are invited to the next mile where Jesus cries that he was thirsty. We know he had gone through a difficult day where he lost a lot of blood and he must have been humanly dehydrated. But this section of his life had a spiritual meaning for us too. We Have to remember that Jesus offered the water of life. We can read this from his encounter with the Samaritan woman in John 4. Where he offered her the drink that would never make her thirty again.
- There is Spiritual Thirst. When Jesus was at the well in Samaria a woman came around noon to fetch water and Jesus asked for some water to drink. As the conversation continued Jesus told her he was going to give living water that will never make her thirsty again. As the deer pants for the water so do, we thirst spiritual drink. We know how to quench the physical thirst. To some a glass of cold water, ice tea or soda would do it. When we are physically thirsty no amount of food would take away the thirst or bring satisfaction. In a similar way when we are spiritually thirty only the spiritual drink that is offered by Jesus that can take away that thirst. We know this when we start longing for the word of God, fellowship with other believers and wanting to be in a small group. Sometimes a Christian song in the radio or any other garget tend to touch our heart in a unique way sometimes. It was the Psalmist who put this need for spiritual drink in a perfect way when he penned these words, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O my God” (Psalms 42:1). Our longing for God is one thing that people might ignore yet at the same time it is the one thing makes as whole.
- Drinking from the right well: We live a life where different kinds of distress come our way. When this happens, we try in our human understanding to deal with them. To they may feel education is the answer and they may get that but still feel empty. Maybe material things might do it but quickly there is emptiness. In a sense it is the writer of Ecclesiastes who put it this way that life is like chasing the wind and everything becomes vanity. This journey we have to make a choice of the well we will drink from. Many spend their life drinking from the wrong wells like King Solomon of old. The king realized that seeking those many things was like chasing the wind and even after getting them on is full of emptiness.
- Come for a free drink: Jesus offers a free drink from his well that will make us not to thirst again. The drink that Jesus gives us is the gift of salvation that we receive through faith in Jesus. “Come, all you who are thirsty, some to the waters; and you who have no money, come to buy and eat!” (Isaiah 55:1a). Jesus paid the paid for us on that day he was crucified. The gift of salvation is to all who are willing and ready to receive.
- Reflection Questions: As we think of the Journey of Jesus on this fifth mile, we would like to reflect on the following questions in a personal way.
- What kind of distress did Jesus experience?
- What kind of distress are you experiencing in your life right now?
- How can you find the right well to begin drinking from today?