Bitter Water: The Curse and the Cross

Yesterday was Good Friday and I was reminded of the last 7 words spoken on the cross by Jesus. Some years ago I was asked to speak on one of these 7 and found a different perspective to the words

I THIRST

When Jesus spoke these words there could have been many reasons why. Clearly he had been beaten almost to death, forced to carry a heavy cross a long distance and then nailed to that same cross to hang before a crowd of accusers and mourners. Clearly he had physical stress and a desire to drink but I find that all the words he spoke had a resounding meaning that merged the The Old Testament, The New Testament, and our testimony. You see, when he spoke the words “I Thirst” he was given something to drink, bitter water. Now many theologians speak about the symbolism behind the bitter water and the traditional lamb sacrifice as well as other connections. I don’t refute any of it but found it quite interesting when I looked up bitter waters and came across the following versus. Now this is details the instructions for a man who believes that his wife has been unfaithful. Mind you this is during the time of Moses. The man would bring the woman to the high priest and you should read the rest:

NUMBERS 5

16 “‘The priest shall bring her and have her stand before the Lord. 17 Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water. 18 After the priest has had the woman stand before the Lord, he shall loosen her hair and place in her hands the reminder-offering, the grain offering for jealousy, while he himself holds the bitter water that brings a curse. 19 Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and say to her, “If no other man has had sexual relations with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you. 20 But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having sexual relations with a man other than your husband”— 21 here the priest is to put the woman under this curse—“may the Lord cause you to become a curse[d] among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell. 22 May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells or your womb miscarries.”

You see the bitter water was meant for us to drink. We were, have been, or may be unfaithful to God. Knowing that we would not pass the test of bitter water, He sent the only one who could, Jesus Christ. When Jesus spoke with the high priest of the Sanhedrin, Nicodemas, he told him

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.[a]

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’

Because Jesus proved his and our innocence by taking the bitter water we are now all given the opportunity to be born again through him. I hope you never forget the importance of his death and resurrection. Let this not be a one day event but instead celebrate his sacrifice and our new life in him with every breath we take. Blessing to you all!

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