Right now as I am writing it is pouring down rain outside. It is not one of those days that is hot and dry and where you are craving for a glass of water. Believe me, like many of you I have had those days when living in Redding where the temperature in the summertime can soar to 115 for several days in a row. But today: that is definitely not the case.
At Smith River Baptist Church http://smithriverbaptist.org/ we are in the middle of a series that deals with the final words of Christ on the cross that can be heard at http://smithriverbaptist.org/sermons/
This Sunday we are looking at the passage where Jesus said “I thirst”. It is the only statement in which our Lord referred to His body and His physical suffering. Perhaps you have wondered why he would say that. I mean after all He was Jesus, He was God and yet He thirst? You mean He suffered and got thirsty just like we do? Well, as a matter of fact He did and as a result He is able to sympathize with our needs. You see, while Jesus was 100% divine, He was also 100% human. Because He walked upon this earth as a man, though He knew no sin, He did become very much acquainted with the difficulties of life here below. When He was a child, He probably skinned His knee a time or two. As a teenager, it is likely that He knew what it was like to not be part of the "in" crowd. Learning the carpenter’s trade in His father’s shop, He possibly had a splinter or two, and He also could very well have smashed His finger on occasion with a hammer. As a man, He knew what it was to grow tired, to be cold, to sweat, to be hungry, and, of course, He knew what it was like to be thirsty.
During an airline flight, concern over the heavy turbulence mounted until the soothing voice of the pilot came over the inter¬com: “No need to worry, folks,” he said cheerfully, “Just remember: these bumps are made of air!” We may wish the bumps we face in life were made of air, but they are not. Life is difficult; adversities are real. Physical trials sting and smart. Emotional trials leave us with unresolved baggage. Spiritual trials drain our souls.
Jesus felt the "bumps" as He lived here among men. Because this is so, we know that He understands where we are and what we are going through in our struggles in this life.
“We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all - all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.” - Hebrews 4:15-16 (The Message)
One of Denmark’s leading sculptors had a burning ambition to create the greatest statue of Jesus ever made. He began by shaping a clay model of a triumphant, regal figure. The head was thrown back and the arms were upraised in a gesture of great majesty. It was his conception of Christ the King: Strong, Dominant. "This will be my masterpiece," he said, on the day the model was completed. But, during the night a heavy fog rolled into the area and sea-spray seeped through a partially opened window of the artist’s ocean-side studio. The moisture affected the shape of the model so that when the artist returned to the studio in the morning, he was shocked to find a wounded figure. The droplets of moisture that had formed on the statue created the illusion of bleeding. The head had drooped. The facial expression had been transformed from one of strength to compassion. And the arms had dropped into an attitude of welcome. The artist stared at the figure, agonizing over the time wasted and the need to begin all over again. But something came over him to change his mood. He began to see that this image of Christ was the truer one. Then he wrote at the base of the newly-shaped figure: "Come unto Me!"