The Great Divide, also called the Continental Divide, is the line separating water flow to the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Corresponding generally to the peaks of the Rocky Mountains, all precipitation falling east of the Divide flows toward the Atlantic, and all precipitation falling west flows toward the Pacific.
The idiom “watershed moment”, meaning things are different on either side of the event, has its place in the English lexicon due to the significance of such a geographical feature.
Scripture points to a spiritual watershed event, heaven’s own Great Divide. By the hand of the prophet Zechariah, God foretold, “And in that day it shall be that living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and half of them toward the western sea; in both summer and winter it shall occur” (Zechariah 14:8).
“Living water” has its source in Jesus (John 4:10), who said, “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).
Jerusalem is, indeed, the location from which that water flows in every direction. Christ said “that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). With this, ancient prophecy agrees: “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3).
These two facts – that Christ is the source of the living water and that Jerusalem was the location from whence it flowed – are connected by the Savior: “’If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive ; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:37-39). Jesus meant the Holy Spirit when he said “living water” and it was at Jerusalem that He poured out the Spirit on His apostles. He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 1:4-5; cf. Luke 24:49). Obeying His word, the apostles returned to Jerusalem (Luke 24:52; Acts 1:12) where, on the Day of Pentecost, “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:1-5) and preached repentance and remission of sins (Acts 2:38).
Once the word of the Lord went forth from Jerusalem it would never be contained: “in both summer and winter it shall occur”. Some rivers run dry in the heat of summer and others freeze solid in the cold of winter, but the waters of life freely flow without interruption. Jesus said “the gates of Hades shall not prevail against” His church (Matthew 16:18), whose preachers are to “Be ready in season and out of season” (2nd Timothy 4:2).
Of all that is revealed in the Word of God, the apex is Pentecost Day in Jerusalem following the ascension of Christ (Acts 2). The Old Testament anticipated that day when prophecies would be fulfilled; even the life of Christ looked forward to that time when promises would come to fruition. The remainder of New Testament writing looks back on that day as the origin of the gospel and the foundation of the church. That Pentecost, the day the church was established, is the watershed event of all time.
By Bryan Matthew Dockens
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