LHM Lenten Devotion – March 30, 2014 “Extreme Thirst”


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Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Reverend Wayne Palmer

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“Extreme Thirst”

March 30, 2014

Lenten devo cover 2014Read Psalm 143TEXT: And my tongue sticks to my jaws (see Psalm 22:15).

Jesus has used powerful imagery to describe His thirst: poured out like water, heart melted like wax, strength dried up. Now His tongue sticks to His jaws.

He has had nothing to drink since the Last Supper, unless perhaps the angel that ministered to Him during His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane gave him some liquid refreshment. But even in that intense prayer in the Garden, Jesus began pouring Himself out for us. Luke tells us His sweat “became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (see Luke 22:44). From that moment on no water or other drink was permitted Him.

Hanging naked on the cross, under the blazing sun, Jesus grows more and more dehydrated. He is so thirsty His tongue sticks to His jaws. The Roman soldiers fill a sponge with wine vinegar and hold it in front of His lips, but just beyond His reach, it’s part of their cruel mockery (see Luke 23:36). Only in the moments before His death-after Jesus has finished paying for our sins-will He actually receive a drink.

Jesus gave us a similar description of hell in His account of the rich man and Lazarus. Here, the rich man “in Hades, being in torment … called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, … between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us'” (see Luke 16:23-26).

Jesus suffered the fires of hell and great thirst on the cross so you and I need never go thirsty.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ, You endured the pangs of hell in my place. Guard me in this faith as You bring me through this life to Your glorious home. Amen.

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