In the last week of our series, Letters in Red, Perrysburg Campus Pastor Josh Whitlow spoke to us about getting in touch with our thirst for what we really desire. In life, it’s not possible to fulfill yourself like you think you can. There is always something you miss—something more—more work, more food, more of that special drink, more indulgence … whatever that looks like for you. We think we want more, but we really don’t know what we want.
In John 4, we read that when Jesus met the woman at the well, he called her out. Jesus knows something that she doesn’t. She is attempting to find fulfillment through things that won’t bring her the lasting fulfillment she desires. As Josh put it, Jesus “suddenly and abruptly put this woman in touch with her thirst.”
Jesus’ goal wasn’t just to point out her error, though. He also gave her the solution to her needs. Jesus revealed to her that she was in need of living water. She thought she needed something to satisfy her physical thirst, not knowing that her soul was in need of the living water that would satisfy her for eternity.
As it is Good Friday, it is a time to really reflect on how Jesus can fulfill your life. He is the living water, the source of life that never runs dry. He is our unending joy, our Savior, the one who paid it all. It might just be the perfect time to realize that Jesus is suddenly and abruptly putting you in touch with your thirst. Jesus knew the extent of our thirst for living water when he died on the cross. He knew that without his drinking from the cup of suffering, we could never fully realize the fulfillment offered through him. Without his fulfillment of paying for our sins on the cross, our debt—our separation from God—would never have been repaired. We would miss the greatest fulfillment a person can have, and that is to know God.
28 Jesus knew 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 tasted it, he said “it is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
The book of John was originally written in Greek, and the words, “It is finished” is communicated with the greek word, tetelestai. Back in ancient times, tetelestai was written on transaction documents, indicating that the debt was paid. Jesus satisfied his thirst one last time, and so he spoke that final word: “Tetelestai!” The debt is paid; it is complete. Our debt, his payment. Our sins, his life. Our brokenness, his completion.
Without Jesus paying for our debt on the cross, we would miss out on what it really means to be free from sin. What it means to receive true, lasting fulfillment.
What are things in your life that are not fulfilling?
Who can you invite to experience the fulfillment of Jesus?
What does it mean to you that Jesus is your Savior?
Take some time today to reflect on Jesus’ death on the cross. Consider what Jesus went through in order to make a relationship with God possible.
This Sunday, we celebrate Jesus defeating death. Invite someone to join you at church this weekend.
Jesus, you are the Living Water, the well that won’t run dry. You drank from the cup of suffering—you died on the cross, fulfilling the debt that needed to be paid so I could know you. Today, I pause to reflect on all you went through for me and say thanks. Thanks for loving me so much and for giving me grace I don’t deserve. Open my eyes to the opportunities I have to share you with others, and give me the courage to point people to you. This Easter weekend, use me to help others find you and the fulfilling life only you can offer. In Jesus’ name, amen.
This post was written by Rebecca Roberts, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.
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