I awoke that cold January day with the whisper of John Chapter 7 on my lips. I had no idea why. It was just there when I opened my eyes:
“John Chapter 7. Read it.”
Because our family was in the midst of a deep drought at the time, I figured God was trying to tell me something big. Something that would shake my faith to action. Something that would help me put one foot in front of the other for just one more day.
I wasn’t even sure what was in John Chapter 7 (or that I’d really given it heartfelt notice before that). But I grabbed my phone and read the entire chapter before I got up out of bed.
Making my way through the first 30 some verses didn’t result in any spark of revelation. And I was about to give up. It wasn’t until I found my way towards the end of the chapter that something sank deep, stopped my heart, and spoke to my spirit in a way that this twenty-year follower of Jesus had never known before.
I swung my feet over the edge of the bed. And then I stood up. Ran to our home office. Grabbed up my Bible and started digging in to verse map through God’s Word.
Two hours and four pages of research later, I understood what’s been buried in that chapter all along — the ONE WORD that changes everything — and my walk with Jesus will never be the same.
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and CRIED out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” —John 7:37-38 (NKJV)
If you do a little research on the Feast of the Tabernacles, in which this latter part of John 7 takes place, you’ll learn that the 8th day of the feast – the last day – was the day of holy convocation. (In other words, the 1st and 8th days of the celebration were set apart from the others. They were to be days of rest and joy. — Lev. 23)
The streets are lined, teeming with people. A great parade of worshippers, led by the priest, go to draw water from the pool of Siloam. The priest has 2 golden pitchers – one for wine, the other to draw and fill with water from the pool – both to pour over the altar in the temple. The people chant Psalm 118: “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!” They sing, thanking God for the provision of water for the year yet to come.
Their chorus of voices echo back to the temple through the Water Gate.
A trumpet sounds as the priest enters.
People cheer. Flutists play. The priest pours wine into one of the basins at the altar. And then, he begins to pour the water…
And it’s here, in the midst of all this… The music. The parading. The singing and dancing. At the pinnacle of joy on the Jewish calendar, Jesus steps forth, CRYING OUT these words to the people.
Read them again. Say them out loud:
If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water!
I admit – I added the exclamation point there. But can you even imagine that? It would be like a man stepping up on the podium at the Super Bowl, hoisting the championship trophy over his head and calling out for people to follow Him!
And Jesus didn’t say those words in a nice, scholarly, even tone.
No. He CRIED OUT.
His cry for us, His absolute anguish of love for our souls, was so powerful that there is just one Greek word to describe it:
His words weren’t quiet. They weren’t subdued or lackluster. His description of love for OUR soul is to cry out for it.
Jesus stepped out in front of everyone, crying the words with such passion — that we’d find our rest not in the parades of the world but rather, in HIM alone — that the only word to describe it, was an outcry of passion and fervor. (That warrants the exclamation point!)
Today is Good Friday.
It wasn’t good once, when the King of Kings hung, and bled, and took every single sin we’ve ever committed, and died for us. It was dark once, but it’s good now, dear hearts.
It’s so good because we now have hope from one thing…
A krazō — from a cross.
That’s right. If you look a few steps further in the story, you’ll find Jesus there. On the cross. Taking pain. Taking sin. Taking on death like no other had before and none will again. And when He finally gave up His spirit… when He cried out His last, in the midst of anguish and pain and love for us… there was the same cry:
And Jesus CRIED out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. —Matt. 27:50 (NKJV)
There’s that little Greek word, yet again.
One word. One cry. And three days later, Easter was made real.
I don’t know where you are today. I don’t know if you have doubts. Fears. Pain and grief in your life. Maybe you’re hurting like I was that morning. Maybe you just can’t hope to trust a Jesus you can’t see with your eyes.
Wherever you are, the one thing I need you to know today is that word is real.
Krazō isn’t for the faint of heart.
It’s a bold cry for a bold love.
It’s a shout over the parades of evil, sin and the darkness that tries to hold our world. It’s a cry of love. It’s evidence that light — and the Light of the world — loved YOU enough to step out into the fray and offer living water that never, ever runs dry.
Looking to the CROSS,