Theme of the Week: Seven Sayings from the Cross
Saying 5: “I thirst”. John 19:28
Scripture Reading: John 4:13-14
The statement recalls the simplicity of “Jesus wept.” And like John 11:35, this verse has so many implications simmering below the surface.
On a basic level, it reminds us of Jesus’ humanity. He was thirsty, just as many nurses can attest to, as people drawing near to life’s end are comforted by an ice chip on their tongue. I recall my grandfather receiving a sponge dipped in water to ease his thirst, even as his strength was waning.
But the verse also points to the moment as fulfilling prophecy. Many scholars reference Psalm 69:21, “For my thirst, they gave me vinegar to drink.”
There’s some symbolism worth noting here as well, like drinking of the cup at the Last Supper, as well as the language Jesus used when He predicted His death in Mathew 20:22, “Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?”
The moment revealed how mission-minded Jesus was, especially in these last moments before his death.
Finally, this moment recalls John 4:13-14, after Jesus asked the Samaritan woman at the well for a drink. Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Fully human and fully God – what an incredible moment packed with meaning, prophecy and spiritual warfare. It’s no wonder the ground shook, and the sky grew dark!
Later, in the same scene with the Samaritan woman, Jesus’ disciples catch up with Him and ask if he needs some food.
Jesus’ answer is confounding. “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work” (John 4:34). His very being is energized by doing God’s will.
Are you in need? Do you lack resources? Energy? Time? Do you thirst?
Busy yourself in kingdom work. Do the Father’s will. And you will have everything you need.
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