APRIL 22

Water, Water Everywhere 

This He did once for all when He offered up Himself. HEBREWS 7:27
 
Every 12 years in the northern India town of Allahabad, the Hindu faithful participate in what claims to be the largest religious gathering in the world. Nearly 70 million pilgrims converge on the spot where the Ganges, Yamuna and Sarasvati Rivers come together. It’s timed to coincide with the alignment of Jupiter and the sun in the astrological houses of Aquarius and Aries. 
 
The two-month event draws Hindus and tourists from all over the world. The vast grounds are transformed into a tent city, with thousands of police on hand to maintain public safety and order. The origins of this pilgrimage—known as the Kumbha Mela (“Grand Pitcher Festival”)—come from a bit of Hindu mythology. According to myth, gods and demons fought a celestial war over the nectar of immortality, spilling some of it at this sacred site. But the festival’s purpose is much more distinct, if no less mystical: plunging into the chilly winter waters of the revered Ganges to be purified from sin and escape the relentless cycle of reincarnation. 
 
I try to imagine feeling the need to journey hundreds or thousands of miles in search of a peace and forgiveness that never seem complete. I try to imagine what it’s like to hope that a dip in some murky waters will result in eternal life. If we’re ever tempted to take Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice for granted, may we picture ourselves in the frantic throng at the Ganges, wondering if this water is really enough. I am grateful for Jesus’ claim, promise and authoritative words in John 14:6: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
 
There is nothing murky about those words. Crystal clear. And if you believe, crystal clean!
 
DISCUSS
What are some of the forgotten benefits of God’s remarkable, faith-based, grace-giving salvation? Stop and celebrate a few. 
 
PRAY 
Thank God for His indescribable gift of forgiveness through His Son, who knew no sin, to be sin on our behalf so that in Him we might have the righteousness of God (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). 

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