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Water is something wonderful. No human being, animal or plant can live without it. It quenches our thirst, we can cook and wash with it. We can swim in it! God gave us oceans with water which has the most wonderful properties. Water evaporates, and clouds form which are carried inland hundreds of kilometres away, and there it starts raining! Ice floats on water so that fish can survive. Drops of water reflect sunlight in a particular manner and form a rainbow. The properties of water that make all of this possible, and much more, are absolutely amazing.

The Bible often refers to water. David writes: Blessed is the man who finds delight in the law of the LORD … He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither (Ps. 1:1-3). A psalmist sings movingly about his yearning for God: As a deer longs for a stream of cool water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for you, the living God (Ps. 42:1,2).

Water cleanses. To the believers, baptism signifies the cleansing of their sins. We are entirely cleansed, as if we died with Christ: By our baptism, then, we were buried with him and shared his death (Rom. 6:4).

Jesus compares the gifts of the Holy Spirit with life-giving water: “Whoever is thirsty should come to me, and whoever believes in me should drink. As the scripture says: Streams of life-giving water will pour out from his side.” Jesus said this about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were going to receive (John 7:37-39).

To be truly thirsty is terrible. Therefore water is the least, but at times also the most essential thing that you can give a fellow being. Jesus said: And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward” (Matt. 10:42)

While Jesus hung on the cross, He suffered the most terrible pain through the wounds in his hands and feet and the crown of thorns on his head. About this He said nothing, but He said: “I am thirsty” (John 19:28). He craved water although He Himself created the oceans. It is He who told the ocean: “Be quiet! … Be still!” (Mark 4:39) and it happened. And then on the cross – the terrible thirst! But it was Jesus’ own choice, because He chose ús. He chose to pay for our sins and to endure the thirst of hell, in our place. Jesus told the parable about the rich man who called out from hell: “Send Lazarus to dip his finger in some water and cool off my tongue, because I am in great pain in this fire!” (Luke 16:24). It ís terrible. But for God’s children there is hope: He (God) will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain. … To anyone who is thirsty I will give the right to drink from the spring of the water of life without paying for it (Rev. 21:4, 6).

Jesus had to experience the terrible thirst so that his children may share in the water of life that He gives us, and He gives it at no cost to us, because He has already paid the price!

 Our heavenly Father, thank you for water and above all for the water of life. Amen.


Gert Berning