Lent Devotion for April 2 - Fifth Sunday in Lent
Reader: "Jesus Knew that His mission was now finished."
Response: “To fulfill Scripture He said, “I am thirsty.”
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 22:15
15 My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay.
My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead.
SCRIPTURE: John 19:28-30
28 Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. 30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Reader: “The word of the Lord."
Response: “Thanks be to God.”
Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 are perhaps the two most descriptive chapters of the events of Jesus’ crucifixion in the Old Testament, in fact, Jesus recited part of Psalm 22 when He was on the cross. One thing is so abundantly clear through the whole ministry and passion of Christ. There is an abundance of the Hebrew Scriptures quoted ubiquitously. Part of the reason was for the Jewish people to see that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah. Now, we look at these particular pericopes. The timeline of the process of crucifixion was gruesome, designed to inflict as much torture as possible in the process of dying. Death eventually came by a combination of exhaustion and asphyxiation. The death was vulgar and humiliating. Those crucified were stripped naked, and very public. The cross beam the prisoners carried was roughly 100 lbs. The one being crucified was nailed through the wrists and the feet. With each breath, the victim had to push down on the feet to be able to raise the chest to breathe. Dehydration set in quickly as there was usually much blood loss from the beating before the actual crucifixion. Sometimes the prisoner died from the beating itself. With this brief description, the extraordinary beating of Jesus and the tremendous loss of blood, dehydration set in quickly. The sour wine that was offered may have had some narcotic effect to dull the pain. It is noteworthy that Jesus bowed His head and then died. It usually happens the other way around with other humans. It is almost as if our Lord bowed His head with the dignity of royalty and then gave up His spirit. He was master of all to the very end. I can’t help but remember His words, “Come unto me, all you who are thirsty, and I will give you rest.” This living Savior gives living water, which springs up to everlasting life. There are thirsty people all around us. Let us direct them to the well of living water.
MUSIC: “As the Deer” by Michael Defois
I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me the grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland, where I have wandered so long, In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
–A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, p.20