Jesus, Water and Life
As people who live in this world we recognize that water is a necessary part of our lives. We can't survive without water. Animals cannot survive without water. Plants cannot survive without water. Basically life cannot survive without water.
Jesus picks up on this theme as he talks to us about our need of him for life too. But Jesus isn't speaking about our physical life here on earth; he is talking about our eternal life. How can we have eternal life and how does Jesus provide us with that life?
First we need to understand what Jesus means when he invites us to drink of the water of life. He is inviting the thirsty, the spiritually thirsty, to come to him. Who are the spiritually thirsty? They are the ones who recognize that they have a hurt conscience, who are carrying around guilt, or who are unsure about their relationship with God. The reason people feel this way is because of sin.
Sin is not measuring up to God's demands. God says in Leviticus 19:2 "Be holy as I the Lord your God am holy." This is a tall order. God demands that anyone who wants to have a relationship with him must be as holy as he is. That is something we recognize we cannot do. God's holiness is much too great or our "humanity." We are frail and we make mistakes, we act selfishly and we hurt one another. No one can claim that they are holy.
But God also tells us the result of our sinfulness. He says that "The wages of sin is death" in Romans 6:23. God makes it clear that due to our sinfulness (lack of perfect holiness) we deserve and will receive death.
This death need not be ours though, remember what Jesus said about giving life? Romans 6:23 continues, "The wages of sin is death, BUT the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus." Jesus offers us life, he offers us eternal life. That life comes simply through a trust in him.
But how and why can Jesus offer us this life? It's simple; Jesus took the punishment that we deserved. Through his death on the cross Jesus paid the full price of our sins. Now the punishment that is ours need not be ours. We simply trust that the debt that we owe has been paid by him. He is our savior, he is our salvation, he is our life.