This coming Wednesday March 22nd is the United Nations World Water Day. Every year it is about taking action to tackle the water crises that our world faces. On the UN website it mentions today there are over 663 million people without a safe water supply close to home. So many people spend countless hours queuing to get their water jug filled or trekking to distant sources and coping with the health impacts of using contaminated water.
The theme for 2017 is “Water and Wastewater”. Globally 80% of the world’s wastewater from our homes, cities, industry and agriculture flows back to nature without being treated or reused…polluting the environment.
Our planet has a vast amount of water, but 97% is salt water and undrinkable, 2% is locked up in polar icecaps and only 1% of the world’s water is fresh water. This 1% is extremely significant and precious. Can you imagine a day without water? Every cell in our bodies require it. Both 75% of our brain and muscles are water, 83% of our blood compose of water and even 22% of our bones are water. We need water to sustain our physical lives.
The Bible and water are very much connected. Water is mentioned 722 times in the Scripture. That is less than God, Jesus, heaven or love, but many more times than faith, hope, prayer or even worship. Because the Bible was written in a part of the world where water is scarce it is not surprising that water features significantly in the lives of the people. It was not simply turning on a tap like we do nowadays and instantly have running water. People in scripture had to walk vast distances to a reliable water source and then carry that water back, enough to keep them alive for the next few days. When a person has to carry that water there definitely would be no waste.
In John Chapter 4, it was at one of these water sources or wells that Jesus encounters a Samaritan woman who went to a well for some of that life giving water to sustain her physical life for the next few days. But Jesus offers her a “living water” where she would never grow thirsty again. John 4:13-14 reads, “Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
And just like our earthly water which is extremely precious, the spiritual water that Jesus offered to quench our spiritual thirst came with an enormous price when He died on the cross. This is what Easter is all about.