Join us this Sunday! In-Person 9:00am & 10:45am, Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm

Join us this Sunday! In-Person 9:00am & 10:45am, Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm

Join us at the next Sunday worship service:
9:00am & 10:45am,
Online 9:00am, 10:45am & 5:00pm


The Last Seven Words of Christ: The word of substitution


“I thirst,” Jesus said as he neared his final breath.  It would be easy to overlook these two words, but they are loaded with significance.  What does Jesus’ thirst mean, both for Him on the cross and for us today?  Jesus, the living water of God, poured out living water into our souls, emptied himself, and took upon Himself our sin that we might never be thirsty again.

Bottom Line:   

Something To Talk About:

“I thirst.” Jesus always thirsts. For communion with us. For communion with God. For justice to reign. Here on the Cross, He teaches us again, in the most dramatic terms, what is worth thirsting for. Here on the Cross, Jesus begins, once and for all, to quench the thirst of our lives and of our world.

  1. Serve Jesus by serving others: Albert Schweitzer once said, “The only really happy people are those who have learned how to serve.” God wants us to serve others. Serving others accomplishes just about everything God wants in us. In Matthew 20:28, Jesus tells His disciples, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Because Jesus gave Himself up as our ultimate sacrifice, we are also called to serve others. The Church does not exist for us. We are the Church, and we exist for the world. We have the responsibility and the opportunity to show the love of Christ by serving other people. In other words, saved people serve people so that served people can become saved. “ God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ….” –(1 Peter 4:10-11).
  2. Jesus notices the smallest service: Jesus notices the small things. Each day we can act on needs we see around us and offer compassion to others often in small yet meaningful ways. One doesn’t need to be a pastor to listen to someone who needs someone to hear and notice them. One doesn’t need to be deeply spiritual to pray and care for people. Jesus embodied God’s love by reaching out to people in need, noticing them, listening to them, and ultimately healing them. We are invited to live Jesus’ message of compassion where we are and with people around us, our families, our faith communities, our places of employment, and our communities. It may not seem like much, but God has given us gifts and abilities, and when we use them, we can make a difference in the lives of others. We all have something to offer.
  3. The most Christlike service is to enemies: “Love your enemies.” This may be the most challenging thing Jesus ever said. Even when we hear it in church, it is extremely difficult to believe that Jesus means what He says. But if we have any doubts about this, consider how this command is explained: Do good to those who hate you; bless those who curse you; pray for those who abuse you. But even if that is not enough, Jesus gives us some examples: If someone strikes you, turn the other cheek; if they take your shirt, give them your jacket too; if a beggar comes to you, give him something; if someone steals your money, do not demand it back.  Be willing for others to take advantage of you. Don’t go around thinking that you deserve something in return. That’s not why you forgive others, and that’s not why you love your enemies. Loving your enemies is part of being Christlike.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How do you react to the idea of substitution? Why would Christ feel forsaken by God?
  2. Do I allow myself to experience the deepest thirsts in my life? Longing for God? Longing for a true relationship with others? Are you longing for justice for the oppressed? Where are my thirsts leading me?
  3. Your devotion to God is illustrated, demonstrated, and authenticated by serving others.  Agree or disagree?
  4. What must you do, beginning today, to acquire the authentic heart of a servant?
  5. Why is it so easy to neglect the small things in life? How can little things make a difference in our walk with God?
  6. Read John 13:12-17. Jesus said He was giving us an example of serving one another. He meant much more than physically washing people’s feet. Describe the attitude, the mindset, and the heart behind His behavior.
  7. What practical ways can we serve others with the attitude and heart of Jesus?
  8. What would it look like for us to have the mindset of Christ, the very nature of a servant? 
  9. Why should you love your enemies?
  10. What are practical ways of loving your enemies? Who are we like when we love our enemies? How did God demonstrate his love for all people? What would be your attitude toward your enemy if you lived as Jesus described?
  11. When have you been thirsty for God? What was that like?
  12. Do you crave to grow in your relationship with God? Why or why not? How do you need to respond to God today? What was your main takeaway from this week’s message?

Take One Thing Home with You:

“O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:).

It’s easy to understand thirsting for water, but there are other things we thirst for that might not be readily transparent. We must dig deeper into our hearts to discover our thirsts. Options might include popularity, approval, success, or wealth. While these things are not necessarily wrong, they become chains rather than gifts when they’re taken to the extreme as a measure of a person. We are His intricately made creation, endowed with purpose and crowned with his unconditional love. You may have God, but do you have all you want?  He wants to fill you if you want more. If you want more, analyze your life and pray that God would help you see things and give you a burning, blistering thirst, that only He can satisfy.