You don’t have to get inspired anymore by symbols of freedom and divine life. Jesus says you can have freedom and divine life. In John 7:37-39 Jesus offers an alternative to the ritual: belief in Him that will cause living waters to flow in the believer’s life.
37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.John 7:37-39 ESV
This was a spiritual saying about the Holy Spirit who would fill believers in Jesus. Then an important note: there was no Spirit given yet because Jesus had not yet ascended into glory.
How fortunate are we to live in the time of the outpour of the Holy Spirit? More than an external expression or “touch,” we can come to saving faith and have Him in us! Consider the potential of our lives, capacity, and ability with the Holy Spirit living in us!
It is worth noting that Jesus’ offer was extended on the 7th and final day of the Festival or Feast of Tabernacles, a time of thanksgiving for the harvest and to remember the Exodus from Egypt.
We can know thirst — dryness, desire, craving, longing — in different areas of our lives. We can know well the difficulty of living with a compelling spiritual void. Then somehow, we hear Jesus’ offer to replace rituals with a living faith that refreshes and satisfies.
Rituals carry symbolic, historical, and emotional significance. Some add to faith, some do not. A ritual is a ceremonial act made special with words and a series of actions (Webster). We perform them daily. Jesus’ offer transcends ceremony and transfers significance from the ritual to belief in him. Wow, just like that, a better way is available. Selah.
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"In the darkness of night, I wait expectantly for understanding and knowledge for your people."