I thirst

After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.”

John 19.28

What is so interesting here is that before Jesus said “I thirst“, we see that He knew that all was now finished. The work had been done, the price had been paid, He was now ready to share that with people and needed a drink to prepare His voice for one more momentous utterance.

Let’s keep this short and to the point: to receive the Good News into our lives, we need to accept the bad news about ourselves. We need to see ourselves in the cold light of day in order to admit that we too thirst. We are not great, we are not good, we are not the pinnacle of existence as we like to think we are. When we admit this, the worst is over, the biggest hurdle to our submission to the Lordship of Jesus has been overcome and we can come to Jesus and say “I thirst“. 

As He said “I thirst” knowing that all was now finished, so we too come to Him and say “I thirst, Lord, for the life you died to provide“. We say this knowing that we have reached a point in our lives where we need to drink of the living water He has to offer (John 7.37-39), and that He gives freely to all who ask.

…why have you forsaken me?

The next last word we see is found in Matthew 27.46,

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 

“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is,

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

This is actually a quotation from Psalm 22, a wonderful Messianic Psalm. Louis A. Barbieri Jr. wrote on this and said that in this moment, Jesus was sensing “a separation from the Father He had never known“.

Friend, because He was separated from God the Father in this moment and because He who had never sinned became sin so that the holy and perfect justice of God may be satisfied, you and I need not ever be afraid of experiencing this separation. 

This was the moment, the beginning of the greatest spiritual transaction to ever take place; Jesus took upon Himself the sins of the entire universe past, present, and future, He took it upon Himself to drink the cup of God’s wrath (Psalm 75.8, Isaiah 51.17, Jeremiah 25.25), He endured spiritual and relational separation from God, He did all of this so that you don’t have to. 

Why did He endure all of this? For you, so that you never have to.

Death, life, virus’, pandemics, trials, tribulations, troubles, height, depth, angels, nor demons, will ever cause you to have to experience and endure what He experienced and endured that day for you. 

He was, in this moment, forsaken so that you never have to be. 

…behold, your son!

The hardest thing I have ever had to do as a Pastor, maybe even as a person, was be present in an ICU room when, individually, members of a family came in to say goodbye to a lady who was only alive because she was connected to a ventilator.

Her sister came.

Her friend came.

Her partner came.

Then her children came.

Thinking of this now still brings tears to my eyes. What do you say to a child saying goodbye to their Mum? Preaching the Good News to the assembled church multiple times each week is a huge privilege. Being there for moments like that is perhaps the most profound privilege we can have as ministers of the Gospel. 

Today’s last word is found in John 19.26,

“Woman, behold, your son!”

Making provisions for those we love for a time when we won’t be around may seem morbid, but it is maybe the most loving and practical thing we can do. Even on the cross, in the throws of agony, Jesus cared for and provided for others. He was, and is, so others-focused that some simply cannot believe it.

For those of us that do, we see His heart on display; others.

Even in His dying moments, He wanted to make sure that those He loved were going to be taken care of.

Brothers, sisters, please don’t wait until it is too late. Take actions today to care for and provide for those you love so that when a day begins without you, they will be ok. They will have enough to deal with, enough to organise, enough to do, enough to grieve over, enough to think about.

Please follow His example and do all you can today to provide for their tomorrows.

Living a Life of Wisdom

Where can wisdom be found?

The Word of God to us bound in our Bibles tells us that the wisdom of God once walked where we walk, lived where we live, and that true wisdom can be found exemplified and personified in Jesus.

In James 3.13-18 we learn that wisdom is how we show what we believe through our conduct; what we say and what we do. James writes,

Who is wise and understanding among you?

By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.


Jesus showed, and Jesus told.


The question about where wisdom can be found can be answered in the person and work of Jesus, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2.1-3), in Jesus who is the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1.20-25).

Let us then work hard to show what we believe wisely by what we say and do, but above that let us pursue relationship with Jesus, the wisdom of God.

Look at James 3.13 again and let’s put His name in there…

JESUS is wise and understanding…By his good conduct HE HAS SHOWN his works in the meekness of wisdom. 

Let us then work hard to show what we believe wisely by what we say and do, as He did, but above that let us pursue relationship with Jesus, the wisdom of God.

In Paradise

Our second last word of Jesus on the cross is also found in Luke 23 and is given in response to one of the criminals crucified next to Him (v.32).

And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Luke 23.43

The only deathbed conversion in the Bible gives us hope that it is never too late to turn to the Lord, but, it is the only deathbed conversion in the Bible, so it shouldn’t give us a false sense that we can wait until the very last minute to ‘get religious’ as many people see it. 

Imagine floating down a river towards a waterfall and there is a big rock right on the edge of the drop that you plan to grab on to. Whilst you are floating towards the edge there is a man on the side of the river calling out to you with a life-saver but you reply ‘Don’t worry, I’ll grab that rock just before I fall‘. But in the course of floating down the river the current has taken you so far from the rock you can’t grab it. In the course of your floating you’ve also taken on so much water than you may not be physically able to grab it. The man on the side is willing and able to save you should you call out to him, but you never did, vainly hoping to wait until the very last second. 

Sadly, this is how many people view salvation and eternal life: ‘I’ll wait until I’m old and ready to die, then I’ll think about all that‘. Sadly, for many, they never get this chance meaning that decisions made in the here-and-now become all the more important. 

Friends, who do you need to talk to about salvation and eternal life today?

Who do you need to send this to and have them read it today?

These words spoken by Jesus on the cross are – like many others – a comfort and a challenge. For those that have trusted Him they are a huge comfort but the context they are given in brings a real challenge.

These words were painfully spoken during crucifixion but they were given nonetheless. It can be painful having these kinds of conversations with people, but follow His example and have one today.

Father, forgive them…

The first saying of Jesus on the cross is found in Luke 23.34 and we read,

…Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Even to the very end, Jesus was others-focused. This will come up again and again as we move through the last things He said in His earthly life. Others. Right up to the end, Jesus was others-focused. Right up to the end, Jesus sought forgiveness for those that did not deserve it. Is there a more poignant example of His grace in action than Jesus on the cross seeking forgiveness for those literally crucifying Him?

Don Stewart writes,

He came to earth for the purpose of forgiving sinners and He loved them and forgave them up until the end.

How about you?

Is there anybody you need to forgive? Is there anybody that you need to reconcile with? Is there anybody from whom you need to ask forgiveness? We are encouraged to seek forgiveness if we have wronged others (Matthew 5.23.24) and to forgive as we’ve been forgiven (Ephesians 4.32). Seek that today.

As we move through the words of Jesus on the cross and pause to reflect on this truly incomprehensible sacrifice, let us not overlook the practical applications in our lives. Here, as Jesus said “Father, forgive them…”, let us pursue forgiveness and reconciliation with those around us today.

Where Is Wisdom?

In Job 28 the question is asked, 

“But where shall wisdom be found?
    And where is the place of understanding?
Man does not know its worth,
    and it is not found in the land of the living.

Job 28.12-13

So often in life we are willing to give so much for so little. We sacrifice things we will never get back in order to get things which will never last. We give up health, time, friendship and fellowship, and relationships in order to gain money, possessions, a sense of self-worth, and perceived status. 

Is this a good idea? Does this sound wise? Does trading fundamental for futile strike you as a good deal?

Where do we look for wisdom, a model for living, the ultimate example of how we should be investing our time, our talent, and our treasure? How do we know where the most valuable of attributes (v.15) is found?

The Word of God to us bound in our Bibles tells us that wisdom once walked as we walk, lived as we live, and that true wisdom can be found in the person of Jesus;

…I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Colossians 2.1-3

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1 Corinthians 1.20-25

Job’s question, and all of ours, can be answered in the person and work of Jesus, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, Jesus who is the wisdom of God.