Satisfying Hunger and Thirst

When we feel our gut rumbling, most of us—if we are fortunate enough to have a full pantry—respond by getting something to eat! And when our throat feels parched, we instinctively reach for a drink. But do we recognize hunger and thirst of the soul? Does your spirit just feel like something is missing and you can’t even put a name on the emptiness gnawing inside? Jesus in God’s Holy Word has left instructions for satisfying this spiritual hunger and thirst.

On the Thursday before His Roman crucifixion the next day, Jesus observed the Jewish tradition of Pesach or Passover with His twelve disciples. These were men who had left their occupations to follow Jesus whom they recognized as the Jewish Messiah. They had become His students but also His closest friends.

The Pesach or Passover is a celebration of God’s deliverance of the Hebrews while they were still enslaved in ancient Egypt. As the number of the Hebrew population grew, the Egyptian Pharoah (fearing an uprising) sought to curtail such an increase by ordering newborn Hebrew baby boys to be slaughtered. In order to be spared a visit from the Angel of Death, the Hebrews’ Jehovah or Lord God gave them a specific command for their situation. They were to apply a sacrificial lamb’s blood to the top and sides of their door frames which would be a sign for the angel to ‘passover’ those households.

One of the Hebrew babies spared would grow up to be their deliverer Moses who would lead his people out of their bondage in Egypt. But it would be forty years later before the Hebrews would set foot on the land previously promised to their patriarch Abraham. This delay was because of their disobedience, in particular allowing worship of other gods besides Yaweh [pronounce YAH way]—Jehovah God—and worship of idols.

Jews have struggled to gain and maintain control of what they consider their original homeland throughout history. In 1948 the Provisional Government of Israel under the leadership of David Ben-Gurion declared Israel a sovereign state and was recognized as such by the United States of America under President Harry S. Truman. Unrest, conflict, war, peace treaties, and broken treaties dot the Middle East timeline as the State of Palestine does not recognize the legitimacy of Israel’s occupation.

The world into which Jesus was born, lived, and died was under the occupation of the ancient Roman Empire. Jews were not enslaved but were subject to Roman laws. They were free to exercise their religion. And thus, the Passover meal is an important event at that time.

During their observance of their Passover meal in a private upper room in Jerusalem, Jesus is trying to prepare his disciples for the horrible events which are going to occur soon: His betrayal, arrest, trial, flogging, and a shameful tortuous death brought on by Roman crucifixion. Two elements of the meal—the bread and the wine—do more than satisfy their physical hunger and thirst and fulfill the requirement of observing Jewish Passover. The flat unleavened bread and the local fermented wine take on a new significance. For early Jewish Christians, the commemoration of this last meal of Jesus with His disciples is called The Lord’s Supper.

“When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And He said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat the Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.’ After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, ‘Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’ And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after the supper he took the cup saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.’” (Luke 22:14-20 Holy Bible New International Version)

It is at this last supper that Jesus announces that one of the twelve at the table is going to betray Him. They are startled and begin to question who might do so. Peter says, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” (Luke 22:33 Holy Bible NIV)  Jesus tells Peter he will deny he even knows Him, not just once but three times before the next morning!

And as each one asks if he will be the one to betray his Lord, Judas says, “Surely not I, Rabbi?”(Matthew 26:25A NIV)

And Jesus responds, “Yes, it is you.” (Matthew 26:25B NIV)

Then Judas Iscariot leaves the table to conduct his plan of identifying Jesus to those wanting to arrest Him. The other eleven disciples will slip into the shadows and watch events unfold.

Except for Judas Iscariot, Jesus’ disciples will satisfy their hunger and thirst for righteousness as Jesus taught them: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6 NIV)

In the same way today, we fill ourselves up with feasting on the Word of God. Read it every day. Pray for understanding. Praise God for good times. But also ask Him for strength in troubled times. Assemble with other believers for encouragement and the energy which being part of a like-minded group brings. Support your believers’ assembly financially. Finally, do not neglect living a life of respect for others, helpfulness for others, and sharing the Gospel’s message of salvation. The hunger and thirst of your soul will be filled as you provide ministry to those physically and spiritually hungering and thirsting.

Below are the lyrics to a song of prophecy that I wrote. It encapsulates the deep hunger and thirst of those who practice the Jewish faith; but also Christian believers. My son and I are still working on the music to go with it.

I wrote the poem Footsteps of Messiah after reading a quote attributed to David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of the State of Israel: “Ezekiel 37 has been fulfilled and the nation of Israel is hearing the footsteps of the Messiah.” He was referring to the twentieth century nation of Israel officially declared on May 14, 1948, when Jewish people from around the globe were being reunited in the Biblical lands of their patriarch Abraham. For Ben-Gurion, there was the anticipation of the Messiah’s first coming. However, many Christians at that time saw Jews’ repatriation as a sign of the Messiah’s second coming.

FOOTSTEPS OF MESSIAH

(V.1) Do you hear the footsteps
Of Messiah drawing near?
Have you turned to listen
Before His face appears?
Wipe away your fears and doubts.
There’s joy when you believe.
These times of trials point the way
To God’s great jubilee!

(Chorus) Footsteps of Messiah
Leave their print on Zion’s sand.
God’s people reunited
Know His coming is at hand.
Footsteps of Messiah
Can be heard above earth’s roar
For the clock of all the ages
Strikes with footsteps of the Lord.

(Bridge) Messiah’s footsteps:
Stop and listen while you can.
Messiah’s footsteps:
Don’t ignore God’s final plan.

(V. 2) Did you hear His footsteps
Long ago on Calv’ry’s road?
Did you see salvation’s plan
Before your eyes unfold?
He wiped away your guilt and shame,
Brought joy so full and free.
Now once again He beckons you
To listen and believe.

(Repeat Chorus) Footsteps of Messiah
Leave their print on Zion’s sand.
God’s people reunited
Know His coming is at hand.
Footsteps of Messiah
Can be heard above earth’s roar
For the Clock of All the Ages
Strikes with footsteps of the Lord.

(Tag) Footsteps of the Lord.
Footsteps of the Lord.
Footsteps of the Lord…

(Optional Final Instrumental Tag: Play 11 Dissonant Chimes on the Keyboard)

Maundy Thursday Essay and Song of Prophecy and Praise
By Connie Carlisle Polley, 2022
ConnieCarlislePolley.com
NonnyDay.com


5 thoughts on “Satisfying Hunger and Thirst

  1. Nolan Polley says:

    Great thoughts. Yes, I can hear a melody in my head for those lyrics.

    I also encourage anyone to look at the conversation between Jesus and the 12 disciples after the meal. ALL of them were saying basically some form of not me, no not me, never — including Judas. I think the translation of Jesus response to Judas of “yes, it is you” is off in the original NIV. The newer NIV2011 translates it as “You have said so.” — which is also closer to the King James version of “Thou hast said”. I see that more along the lines of someone being inquisitive and the person who they are asking responding in a way that is true but doesn’t really reveal any information. NAS translates “You have said it yourself.” — I think the current equivalent expression might be “Those are your words, not mine” — which means someone is implying that he agrees with you, but not willing to commit to the statement publicly.

    So I expect the others did not see Judas as being called out at the time. They still did not understand what was going to happen.

    Judas was hungry and thristy too — but he filled it with money — for which he then felt remorse. (And there is room for a lot of commentary on that).

    The true answer is in John 4:13-15.

    Like

    • Connie Carlisle Polley says:

      Nolan, you are absolutely right in your comments. In writing this blog post and next week’s I was using, for the first time, our Dad’s personal NIV copy of the Bible and its copyright is 1978. The more accurate English translation is (as you stated) “You have said so.” In French it is “Tu le dis.” In Spanish, “Tú lo has dicho.” And in German, “Du sagst es.”

      Like

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