Pulling Off the Death Shroud

I imagine her as she carefully makes her way through the crowded streets of Sychar, her vision fixed on the ground, not wanting to be seen; averting prying eyes. She carries her water jar all the way outside of town to Jacob’s well. With the jar she also carries a load of rejection. She tries to block from her mind the whispers and stares and just keep pushing forward to get needed water.

I would guess that she would rather stay home; rather not venture out to be seen, to be the object of ridicule. But making the daily trip to the well had to be done—she had to have water. She was forced to endure publicly scrutiny because of her thirst.

I’m sure she was startled by Jesus’ request. A completely unorthodox move—a male Jew speaking with a female half-breed—highly unusual. But she couldn’t help herself; she was compelled to respond to Him.

[box] Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water. (John 4:9–10)[/box]

Living water . . . the gift of God .  . .

Living water? How do you get it? Where does it come from?

Who is this man?

Her mind must have flooded with questions. She had searched for years for her deep thirst to be quenched, her weary heart to be filled . . . only to find her throat parched and her heart yearning for more . . . more of something, she just wasn’t sure what, but she knew that there must be more than a life full of broken promises and shattered dreams.

[box]Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (vv. 13–14)[/box]

This was it. She had to have it. If He had the answer to her deep thirst, she wanted it! But as she reached out to His offer, He countered with a penetrating caveat. He came right into the deepest places of her shame and rejection and invited her to join Him there.

[box]He said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.”  (vv. 16 –18)[/box]

Who is this man?

When she woke that morning, she probably started her day as any other, trying to avoid, to hide, to slip as one unseen among the crowds. After years of being passed from man to man, she was nothing more than a walking corpse.

But this Man was pulling back her death shroud that she might drink deeply of living water and inviting her into the most intimate place. 

He invites her to worship the Living God:

[box]“You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (vv. 22–24)[/box]

His words brought her heart to life. She couldn’t fully understand what He meant but her heart was leaping at these words, “The Father is seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and truth . . .”

Who is this man? 

Her mind was racing . . . could this be?

She had to know.

[box]The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” (v. 25)[/box]

And then He did it. He shared with her the most profound and personal word about Himself. Something He’d not stated openly, He was now sharing with this outcast woman. He was holding out to her the offer to drink of Him, to satiate her thirst with eternal, living water.

Jesus said to her, I who speak to you am He.

And at that moment, she knew it was Him. This was the Man she’d been waiting for, this was the answer to the deep longing of her heart, the unquenchable thirst in her soul.

This was the Man.

And then it happened. She stepped out of her death shroud and left it lying in the dust as she ran to tell the city, “Come see a man!”

Have you stepped out of your death shroud to drink of His living waters?


  • Jen Griffin

    Amen!! I am so thankful that God would draw my heart to His..much like the drawing of water from a well! This is such a beautiful passage. One of my favorite songs many years ago was a Bob Carlisle song called, Come Living Water. Here is the chorus:

    So come Living Water flow through me like a river
    My heart’s been thirsting so long
    Flood through my soul and pour out your mercy
    Come Living Water fill me

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing, Jen!
    The fact that He would draw me to Himself never ceases to amaze me. What love!

    “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

    Simply incomprehensible!

  • Lynn Slaughter

    I am just now having an opportunity to read this blog. I’m not sure how much I can say. What I do know is that I can relate to the woman. Maybe not for the same reasons she had, but the fear of rejection, shame, fear of people to the point I wouldn’t look them in the eyes either, hoplessness.. just alot that I can relate to. Jesus just took the “death shroud” off of me in a different way. He is still inviting me to allow Him into deeper parts of me. I’m still working….just trying just haven’t quite gotten there yet. What I do know is that 7/7/09 was the day I had my own plan for ….. me, and He called me to Him. I’m here now because He helped me step out of my death shroud. He is still helping. Thanks for your message.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Dearest Lynn,

    I look forward to the day when you will truly be able to rest in the assurance of Christ’s deep love for you. While praying for you, the Lord led me to this Psalm to share with you. I never noticed before today that this Psalm of David’s is written to a choir director. I thought that appropriate for you, knowing how God uses you in an integral way on the praise team at your church:

    My soul, wait in silence for God only,
    For my hope is from Him.

    He only is my rock and my salvation,
    My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.

    On God my salvation and my glory rest;
    The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.

    Trust in Him at all times, O people;
    Pour out your heart before Him;
    God is a refuge for us. (Psalm 62:5–8)

    Trust in His work for you, Lynn. Let your faith rest in His work on the cross, and respond to His great love for you through trusting in Him alone, depending on Him for the work that only He can do. Through accepting His love for you there is victory and peace. “Perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18)

    Prayers for you dear friend,

  • Lynn Slaughter

    Thank you Kim and I am trusting more. I have some steps to take. I’ll tell you sometime.
    I love your writing. I loved the Psalms you gave me. yea music is one of the biggest areas I can feel God’s presence.
    Thanks Kim..Am praying for you and your ministry too.