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April 1. Reading and Leading Up to Easter. John chapter 7

Saturday, April 1                  John 7 The Waters of Life John chapter 7 tells us of Jesus’ third visit to Jerusalem.  The waters of controversy were beginning to boil.  He was speaking boldly in challenge to the deadness of Pharisaic religiousness.  He beckoned the common man to rise to new heights of relationship with God.  No more would holiness be held by the pious few.  Jesus was throwing open the doors of heaven. It is easy to miss the drama as we read the unfolding story.  The setting of John 7 is the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles – the Feast of Booths.  This holiday commemorated the journey of Israel through the Wilderness in the Old Testament.  We find that story in Exodus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. As part of the celebration, on the last day of the Feast, the Jewish priests would bring out huge containers of water onto the Temple steps.  At the height of the ceremony, they would tip these pots over cascading rivers of water down the wide stone steps.  This commemorated the water out of the rock that replenished Israel during their journey (see Exodus 17). Standing nearby, Jesus cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.”  In clear declaration, Jesus says, “I am the Water that replenishes.”  He minced no words in making clear His claim. He says to same to us today.  What waters are you drinking?  Are they pure?  Are they life-giving? If any of us are thirsty, we have a Rock from whom we can drink – it is water that lives.