Today, December 31, 2015, is the sixty first time I have lived the year’s last day. The eve of a new year is fast approaching and already has in other parts of the world like New Zealand and Australia. Regardless of the time, this accumulation of last days has come and gone so often that the typical individual doesn’t give much thought as to the possibility of it being the last opportunity to…. Why is that? Maybe it’s because the “last day” has always been followed by another day. The experience of the last day of school, the last day of vacation, the last day of work, the last day single, the last day married, the last day employed, the last day of the fair, the last day of the play, the last day of the sale, the last day before retirement, and others are conditioned on the reality that another day will follow. I’m not speaking to the quality or lack thereof of the next day just the fact that the expectation of something to follow the last day will arrive and life will continue on at some level and as with most there will be a thirst for what can be found in another day—days of disbelief, debate and division over the willingness to receive the truth of the Savior.
Jesus doesn’t render a distinction on the thirsty condition. A person’s thirst for more ambition, pleasure, knowledge, materialism or whatever is invited to come. The thirst may be bad in and of itself but it is not goodness in the person that causes them to reach for this soul quenching drink. Jesus offers an invitation without respect to the quality of one’s character. You come to Jesus not based on what you’ve accomplished or what you have failed to achieve this year. Anyone can come and drink whose soul is thirsty for reconciliation— a shoplifter, a prostitute, a jokester, a beggar, a potty mouth, a liar each can be filled at the flowing stream of the Redeemer’s fountain. Oh sinner, accept this offer of grace and come now and drink before the sun sets on your last day!
Jesus took advantage of the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles. It was a festive time for the people as they celebrated with lights God’s providential care for the Jewish people. This last and greatest day of the Feast, the priests would march seven times around the altar chanting Psalm 118:25: “Please, Lord, please save us. Please, Lord, please give us success.” Upon their last refrain they would draw water and pour it out representing symbolically the water Moses drew from the rock. It was at this climatic point of this last day event Jesus stood and cried out to the crowd His great invitation to thirsty sinners. "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." (John 7:37-39)