Today we enter into the fifth week of Lent
and we consider Jesus’ fifth statement from the cross.
Word of Need:
Later, knowing that all was now completed,
and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled,
Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”
Need: a requirement, an urgent want
a lack of something deemed necessary
Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. John 19:28-29
It’s amazing how thirsty kids get at bedtime. I remember nighttime routines with our children that became long and drawn out, including multiple drinks of water. It was less a genuine need for water than it was an effective stall tactic.
This word from the cross may seem insignificant. Why would Jesus use His last precious breath to call for a drink of water? We may be tempted to look for some deep symbolism in Jesus’ words. Was He thirsting for God? Was He longing for some kind of “spiritual water”? Surely there must be some hidden message in those simple words.
Or maybe he was just thirsty. This statement is so precious because it shows us Jesus in all His humanity. Yes, He could walk on water and turn water into wine and command the waters to be still. But on the cross, He set aside His divinity to experience death as a man. When His physical body approached its final moments, His organs began to fail, causing dehydration. Jesus was dying for a drink of water because He was dying.
Vinegar on a sponge seemed like a cruel offering but Jesus received the sour acid, knowing this would fulfill a prophecy: “I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none. They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.” (Psalm 69:20-21)
Despite His weakened state, He was aware that the suffering was almost over and that one last prophecy needed to be completed. He left nothing undone.
Lord Jesus, I shudder when I think of what You went through on the cross. You emptied Yourself of divinity and took on the very nature of a human. You felt the nails, the thorns and the thirst so I wouldn’t have to. Thank You for humbling Yourself and being obedient to death, even death on a cross.