Each day of this week, leading up to Resurrection Sunday, we are emailing an early morning devotional out to First Assembly from our Pastoral Team. You can read them all right here.
The 5th Saying of Jesus on the Cross
After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, ‘I thirst!’ Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. (John 19:28-29)
Thirst, we have all felt it, and we have all experienced a longing for the intensely satisfying refreshment that comes from a cool glass of water on a hot day. The rich man in Luke 16 who died unrepentant, begged Abraham for just a drop of water to cool his tongue, because he was tormented in the flames. The woman of Samaria, although she had the necessary implements to draw water from Jacob’s well, to give a drink to anyone who asked for it, was herself bankrupt of the living water that could only be provided to her by an encounter with Jesus, the true living water.
It was now 3:00pm. It had been many hours since Jesus had experienced the refreshment of a drink of water. In His cry, “I thirst”, I do not believe He was complaining of real, physical thirst, although He surely was thirsty. There was another, more urgent thirst that consumed Him. In this one cry, we can sense all of the yearnings and agonies of the Heart of God, as He cries out “I thirst”. This cry from the mouth of the Savior hanging on Calvary’s Cross is not just to be understood as an exclamation of His physical longings, but, much more than that, it is a revelation of the deep, eternal longing of the Godhead, uttered by the Son of God, desiring to bring to completion the plan for the ultimate redemption of lost mankind.
It was a cry that was penned in eternity past, now being gloriously unfolded and meticulously fulfilled in the events of the final Passover. Even the agonizing cry, “I thirst”, was in fulfillment of prophecy (Psalm 69:21). The Savior’s overwhelming thirst for the culmination of the redemption of lost mankind was most urgent. He thirsted, so that we might never thirst again. The destitute, parched souls of all men, longing to be set free from the shackles of sin, could now come unto Him, and drink of the water of life freely.
Redemption has been accomplished, and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness shall be filled. “And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” (Revelation 21:6)
Are you thirsty? Take your fill, for it is written: “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” (John 7:37)