Living Water

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Jesus the Rock

I am going to continue preaching about the these pictures in the Old Testament, and how the New Testament reveals the old testament and Visa Versa.
I want to skim past the first part about Jesus the Rock, but I do want to take you back quickly to Jewish nation during the Exodus to when they came out the desert and the nation wanted water for they were thirsty.
Be ready because we are going to read a lot of passages from the Bible, so please have one handy. If not follow along on the screen. This is all to set the scene for what I would like to preach to you this morning.
Exodus 17:1–7 NIV84
1 The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?” 3 But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?” 4 Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.” 5 The Lord answered Moses, “Walk on ahead of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
The New Testament tells us that the Jesus is that rock. The rock of our salvation. Now turn with me to 1 Cor 10:1-4 as we hear the Apostle Paul tell us who this Rock is.
1 Corinthians 10:1–4 NIV84
1 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.

Jesus the Living Water

When Moses struck that rock, out of it flowed water to quench the thirst of Israel, and saved the nation. Now fast forward to John 4:7-14
John 4:7–14 NIV84
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” 11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?” 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Jesus was telling this Samaritan woman two things:
He was calling Himself the living water. Physical water requires constant consumption for physical life. Jesus is spiritual water that if consumed once offers eternal life. Jesus refers to this living water as the Gift of God. He is talking about the Gospel, the birth, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is the well-spring of our salvation from which we draw from.
Jesus was alluding to what the Prophet Jeremiah who spoke for God over 600 years ago where said:
Jeremiah 2:13 NIV84
13 “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
By alluding to the words of Jeremiah, not only was Jesus equating Himself with God, the living water, but He was teaching that his offer off spiritual life is a free gift.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “When the wells are dry, we know the worth of water.” The sinner who has come to a knowledge of His sin, who realises his well is dry, seeking forgiveness draws from the only well that has water good enough for life.
For you cannot drink from any water source, you need clean water. Did you know that according the WHO statistics that at least 2 billion people on earth drink water that is contaminated by feces? That contaminated water can bring diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever and polio?
Water sanitation is a major problem in our world, and just because you found water, or something that appears clean, doesn’t mean that it is. You need to be sure.
Our world is filled with contaminated water sources with false doctrines, lies and hypocrisies, and many voluntarily drink from it without testing it. Is this not what the Bible asks us to do? Test all things against the Bible? For we know the water we consume from it is from the wellspring of Christ Jesus.

Broken Cisterns

A cistern was a man made reservoir to catch and store rain water. Cisterns are deficient for 3 reasons:
They leak
The water that is captured and stored is often dirty and luke warm
They contain a limited amount of water.
Men try to replace God with cisterns, broken cisterns. In these cisterns the pour their own ideas, twist the scriptures and make doctrines that suite themselves rather than reading, praying and meditating on the Word of God, which is not a cistern but an underground well that draws living water from an underground spring that provides cool, limitless fresh water.
Jesus was saying, “Stop trying to quench your spiritual thirst with your broken man-made efforts that cannot satisfy. Instead come to Me for free, living water, and you will never die. The broken and leaky cisterns of men and what this world can offer will be dry and empty.”

The Symbolism

The Festival of Booths or sometimes known as the Feast of Tabernacles was a major celebration on the Jewish calendar. All Jew were required to attend and give thanks to God for 7 days and remember God’s deliverance in the desert.
I just want to take a moment to go through this feast - some of its aspects so can go through this journey with me. It is truely amazing.
It was unique in that the Gentiles were actually invited to this. Pause to think about this. This feast was instituted by Moses when the Jews wondered the desert.
John alludes to this feast in his the first part in his Gospel. The feast is an illustration of Christ. Christ actually “tabernacles” with us in Christ. In that God has come down from heaven and is Tabernacle, or dwelling in Christ and dwelling with His creation.
John 1:14 NIV84
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
You might ask, “what is a tabernacle”? It was a portable and temporary shrine used for worship before the temple, a more permanent structure, was built and housed the ark in the “Holy of Holies”. It also denotes the temporary dwelling of God among His people.
Listen to Hebrews 9
Hebrews 9:1–10 NIV84
1 Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. 2 A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand, the table and the consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, 4 which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. 5 Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now. 6 When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. 7 But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. 8 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. 10 They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings—external regulations applying until the time of the new order.
The feast is to commemorate God’s provision.
Solomon’s Temple was commemorated with this feast
There were 3 main rites:
Water drawing and drinking ceremony
THe illumination of the Temple to commemorate the pillar of fire that led the Israelites through the desert. Note that now in the New Testament era under grace, that the Temple of the Holy Ghost is the believer. It is an amazing parallel, and now the way has been made clear, the veil to the Holy of Holies was torn in two, through our mediator, Christ Jesus who bled, died and rose again to sit on the right hand of God the Father and makes intercession for us. No longer do the priests do this, but we have a better new High Priest.
Hebrews 8:1–6 NIV84
1 The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man. 3 Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. 4 If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 6 But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.
When Jesus stood in the Temple claining to be the Light of the World, He was making a radical statement. Those who say that Jesus never claimed to be God have not dealt with this statement. TO stand in the middle of the Temple in conjunction with the Feat of Tabernacles and say, “I am the Light” was like saying, “I am the Shekiniah, I am the Pillar of Fire. It is har to claim a more graphic claim deity.
The built booths to remind them of the desert. Booths were temporary structures they lived in the desert. It reminds us of our frailty and our utter dependency upon the Lord, and by His grace, the Jews had survived.
That was a bit of background so we are all on the same page.
On the 7th day of the feast, the temple priest would march to pool of Siloam and walk around the temple 7 times and quote the Prophet Isaiah,
Isaiah 12:1–3 NIV84
1 In that day you will say: “I will praise you, O Lord. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. 2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” 3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
Jesus then in John 7 does something remarkable, and declares
John 7:37 NIV84
37 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.
What is even more staggering is the 3 verses after Isaiah 12:3 where we read earlier
Isaiah 12:4–6 NKJV
4 And in that day you will say: “Praise the Lord, call upon His name; Declare His deeds among the peoples, Make mention that His name is exalted. 5 Sing to the Lord, For He has done excellent things; This is known in all the earth. 6 Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, For great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!”
There Jesus was God Incarnate, declaring who He was. The people were shouting for joy, celebrating God, but didn’t recognise Him, that He was in their midst. Do we do church Sunday after Sunday as if it were a habit such as was this feast, but do we too not recognise God?
Are we missing the truth by making our own cistern, our broken cisterns and fill it with earthly things, earthly wisdom and our own doctrines of men that marr the face of the Son of God, so we do not recognise Him?
As the Jews shout for joy, and miss the joygiver, are we doing the same? Do we sing our songs of joy, but ignore the truth of the Word?
Then look at Isaiah 55:1
Isaiah 55:1 NIV84
1 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
How often do I see in Christendom how we labour under tradition, our books, do things in a vain hope that it might make us holy, somehow point us to Christ, somehow gain wealth as with a health wealth and prosperity gospel that focuses all of its attention to comfort and a life without want, and miss the mark so entirely so as not not grasp the truth that Jesus Christ is the only well where we can drink from, and it is free, a gift of God?
Yes, serve God, serve your brothers and sisters in Christ, read a good book by a good Christian authour, but do so in the light of daily Bible reading that we might continually draw water to refresh ourselves to stay vital and healthy, so that we might not get sick and have blurry vision that we do not recognise His face.

What will you do with His offer?

Are you still trying to please God with your works? Isaiah made it clear, your efforts cannot purchase what you need. All alternative water wells are contaminated, there is only one well in which to drink from. You need living water. You need Jesus.
Isaiah 55:6–7 NIV84
6 Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
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