Morning Hymn – I Am On the Battlefield
Scripture Reading (Psalm 27)
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.
5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.
7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.
9 Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.
11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.
13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen, Amen.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried;
The third day he rose from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, the Forgiveness of Sins, the Resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
Altar Call/Pastoral Prayer – Thank You For Hearing Our Prayer
We thank you for your grace and mercy. You have allowed our time to roll on, despite the threat of the coronavirus. You have kept a hedge around us and for that we are grateful. Many of us have suffered anxiety, loneliness and frustration. Our minds have been consumed by all of the news that threatens our life as we know it. Some have lost jobs and others have experienced the loss of relationships and comradery. Yet we bow before you to say thank you.
Please forgive us for our sins and for our moments of doubt. We pray that we have the faith so that we can wake up each morning with our minds stayed on You. Help us to be beacons of light in our families and in the communities where we live.
As we look to next week with anticipation of your love and protection, we pray that you will lead and guide us in the way that you would have us to go. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen.
Song of Praise - There's a Bright Side Somewhere
Tithes and Offerings – "All things come of Thee O Lord, and of Thine own, have we given Thee."
Givelify.com (Download Givelify to your Smartphone) or mail your tithes and offerings to First AMEZ Church, 95 S. 20th Street, San Jose CA 95116
Announcements – Please check your text messages and email for further updates on the events and news about the schedule for all local AMEZ services. In accordance with the directives of the City of San Jose, our on-site services will be suspended on March 22 and 29 and April 5, 2020. This includes bible study and choir rehearsals for that period. Our next on-site service will be on the second Sunday, April 11, 2020.
Sermonic Scripture Reading - John 19:28
After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, ‘I thirst.’
Song of Preparation - Wounded for Me
This week we will continue with our series on the Seven Last Sayings from the Cross.
We are continuing our study and series on the Seven Last Sayings of the Savior on the Cross.
The first Saying was a word of Forgiveness, found in Luke 23:34 – “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” This saying teaches us that forgiveness is a free gift, available to all. The second saying was found in Luke 23:43, and it is a word of Salvation – “Verily, I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise.” The second saying affirms that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” The third saying, was one of Affection – “Woman, behold thy Son!. . . “Behold thy mother.” (John 19:26,27) By saying this, Jesus let us know that we should be concerned and caring for the welfare of our parents. Last week were enlightened on the 4th saying which was a word of Anguish, taken from Matthew 27:46 – “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” This sermon taught us that Jesus endured anguish when He bore the sins of the whole world and died on the cross.
So, here we are this morning, to consider the word of Suffering, found in John 19:28 that says, “I thirst.”
Many theologians have expounded on the sayings of Christ from the Cross. “I thirst” has been the subject of many essays and discourses. I believe this is because “suffering” has always been a perplexing problem.
People often ask these questions --
Why should suffering be necessary in a world that is governed by a perfect God? -- A God who not only has the power to prevent evil, but who is Love?
Why is there pain, sickness and death?
I understand these questions, but I’ve come to tell you this morning that God’s divine presence will comfort us – even as we suffer.
The Cross at Calvary shows us that God is not ignorant to our suffering and sorrows. Isaiah 53:4 says, “in the person of His Son He has Himself borne our grief and carried our sorrows.”
The Cross tells us that God is not indifferent to pain, because as Jesus—our redeemer and Saviour -- He experienced pain!
This explains why in John 19:28 Jesus uttered two words: “I thirst.” These two words were not uttered selfishly. If we study them carefully, we will see that they teach us three great lessons: (1) Christ thirsted physically; (2) Christ thirsted spiritually; and (3) Christ thirsted emotionally.
Those who study the Word know that Jesus was not a manifestation of God; Jesus was God manifested in the flesh! Because he was in the flesh, he possessed two natures. Jesus had a nature of divinity and one of humanity.
Christ was not immune to physical suffering –
He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane.
He suffered as he carried that old rugged cross up Golgotha’s Hill.
He suffered when the nails were riveted into his feet and hands.
Yet, he never said a mumbling word in response to that suffering.
Think about times when you are stressed, sick and in pain. Medical professionals will tell you to always make sure that you don’t get dehydrated. It is obvious that our bodies thirst “water” even when we are not mentally aware of our need for it. The physical body has its own way of saying, “I thirst.”
As I think of the pain, the torment and horrible suffering that Jesus took for us on Calvary it is impossible to describe. We really can’t imagine it – although Mel Gibson made a valiant effort in the “Passion of the Christ.” It is only through reading the Word of God that we get a true picture of how Jesus suffered physically.
We’ve already established that Jesus possessed two natures – divine and human. Why didn’t he use his divine nature to relieve his suffering? Well, he had to suffer physically in order that prophesy might be fulfilled. Look at Psalm 69:21. It says, “They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst, they gave me vinegar to drink.”
Now consider the prophesy being fulfilled in Matthew 27:34: “They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall; and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.”
Christ Thirsted Spiritually. In John 19:28, it says,
“Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, saith, ‘I thirst’.”
All throughout Jesus’ life, he was always about His Father’s business. In John 8:29 Jesus said, “. . . for I do always those things that please Him.”
Christ's greatest thirst was to obey his Father in heaven. He lived to please God the Father.
Yes, even though His body physically needed water, his concern for his physical well-being was little in comparison to his spiritual thirst. Dehydration can make the average human delirious, yet Christ was driven by his spiritual thirst. And, He was fully aware of what was going on while he hung on the cross.
Jesus knew that his spiritual thirst could only be satisfied by the fellowship with his Heavenly Father. Psalm 42:2 says,
“My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God?” Jesus had experienced the righteousness of God, and he was thirsty for that relationship. The bible says, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
Jesus wanted more than temporary relief from his physical thirst, and everlasting relief from his spiritual thirst.
Just as Jesus was concerned about the spiritual, God wants us as Believers to be concerned about our spiritual life. We need to know that natural things cannot satisfy our spiritual thirst. Do you thirst after spiritual things in your life? Does the Word of God mean so much to you that you are thirsty for it?
If you thirst after righteousness, then you will be able to handle your physical and emotional thirst. And, this brings me to my final point. Jesus thirsted emotionally. Look at Hebrews 13:8; it says, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” You need to know today that this Word is true! Christ always had an emotional thirst.
We know that Jesus was human and that being thirsty when he hung on the cross was not the first time that he had been physically thirsty. In John 4:7, Christ said to the woman who came to the well, “Give Me to drink.” He wanted water from the well because he was weary from the journey and heat. But, when we examine this text closely, we never see that Jesus ever actually took a drink of the water. He never drank the water because, in the salvation and faith of that Samaritan woman, His heart was refreshed, and that was more than natural water could ever achieve. This is just one example of how Christ thirsted emotionally for others.
It is later that we witness him hanging on the Cross, and thirsting for the lost. And, the good news is that He still has an emotional thirst for us today.
Jesus gave his life for us. A real human life. Yet, we are like the soldier who gave Christ vinegar. And, we tend to glance over this point; so, I need to stop right here to explain the significance of the vinegar. If the soldier had genuinely wanted to ease Jesus suffering, he would have given him pure wine. You see wine would have acted like a sedative and helped ease the pain. But, instead the soldier gave him vinegar – a cheap diluted wine – an imitation of the real thing that had no effect. If Christ had drank it, he would have still been in pain and still thirsty.
Now back to his emotional thirst and I’m going to tie this cheap diluted wine idea to this thought right here.
Church, Christ still thirsts emotionally for us – He thirsts for our souls. But we, like the soldier with the vinegar, are giving him a cheap imitation.
Cheap, imitation praise!
Cheap, diluted worship!
Cheap, unholy life styles.
Cheap, watered-down prayer lives.
And, cheap lies and promises to live for him.
My brothers and sisters, Christ died for us and he deserves our very best – we need to be real for Christ. In Romans 12:1,2 Paul talks about the real thing --
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
Yes, Christ thirst for the love and devotion of His own and he still thirsts for your soul. The question is: What do you thirst for in life?
Do you thirst for the things of the world? OR
Do you thirst spiritually and emotionally after righteousness?
Nothing in this world can satisfy your thirst like Jesus. He died on the cross and thirsted physically, spiritually and emotionally so that we would never have to thirst again. He is still working miracles and satisfying thirsts. He sits at the well of your life, waiting to bless you with the living water.
I want to remind you that Jesus dying on the Cross was a matter of life and death – your life and death! Centuries have past, but there is still room at the Cross for you. Jesus did his greatest work at the Cross. It is a place of healing. There’s no reason for you to live a life of torment.
You need to take this Easter season – this time of studying the Seven Sayings of the Saviour from the Cross to turn your life around and accept Jesus.
There is a life of torment ahead for those who reject the Saviour. For, if you die in your sins, your eternal cry will be, “I thirst.”
Consider this question: If Christ cried, “I thirst” after God the Father turned his back on him for three hours, what is the state of those who have to endure being rejected by God for all eternity?
Stop right now and give your life to Christ. He thirsts for you. There is a refreshing fountain, where you can drink of the spiritual water and you will never thirst again.
If you are thirsty, then you are the one Jesus is seeking – “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6). Come to Jesus this morning, and simply say to Him, “I thirst.” Amen.
Performed by Oakwood University Church
Performed by St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church,
Invitation – Decision Time Now is the time when we offer Christ to you. If you wish to unite with our Church, please call (408) 688-6980.
Benediction -- Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy; To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Expect the best, Pastor Rogers
Performed by Jessy Dixon
Performed by Louisiana Children's
Choir and Albert S. Hadley.
Performed by Pastor Asa Sampson