Heart Cries from the Cross: a Lenten series
February 26 – April 9, 2023
Week 5: The Fifth Word of Distress
1. What resonated with you from the message this past Sunday? Was there anything that made you feel uncomfortable?
2. Read John 19:25-37. Consider Jesus’ words: “I am thirsty.” What does this say to you about the reality of Jesus’ suffering? Why does it matter that Jesus suffered?
3. Caught up in the horrors of World War II, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote: “The Bible directs man to God’s powerlessness and suffering: only the suffering God can help.” Would you agree?
4. Read John 7:37-39. What light does this passage shed on the John 19:25-37 text? Given that Jesus is the source of living water, how do you think the author wants his readers to feel when Jesus cries out, “I am thirsty”?
5. Read the description of life in God’s presence in Revelation 7:16-17. What added perspective does this bring to the John 19:25-37 passage?
6. If you are reflecting alone, take some time to talk to God about any distress you are currently experiencing, knowing that God understands and shares in our human pain. If you are meeting in a group, take some time sharing in twos or threes, and pray for one another.
Prayer Practice: Living Water
Throughout this week, pause when you drink water to reflect.
- Before you drink, consider your own thirst. Imagine that sensation intensified to the point of distress.
- As you take a sip of the water, savor the experience of being refreshed.
- Is there an area in your life where you thirst spiritually or emotionally?
- As you drink, welcome the presence of God’s Living Water within you. Imagine God’s love saturating any areas of longing or distress.