7 Sayings of Christ on the Cross – PART 5
This is PART 5 of the 7 PART Series titled “7 Sayings of Christ on the Cross”.
Christ’s 5TH Saying (John 19:28)
John 19:28, “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.”
We all know the common cry of daily thirst in our bodies. When the water level of the body falls below a certain point, the brain signals that we are thirsty. On a hot day, we have all become especially thirsty for water. But most of us have never known the thirst that accompanies suffering and death. Physicians have assured us that there is no suffering comparable to that of an unassuaged thirst. It’s been said that those who died on the cross became so thirsty that their tongues would swell and protrude from their mouths. The Lord Jesus had suffered in many inconceivable ways. He had been mocked, beaten, and scourged. Then He had the cross laid upon His bleeding shoulders and back. When He reached Calvary, His hands and feet were nailed to the tree. The cross was then dropped into a prepared hole. As His body screamed with pain, indicating the intense level of His sufferings.
Christ did all He did according to a divine arrangement and order. The words “after this” conclude the movements of this event. “After” His prayer for forgiveness; “After” His acceptance of the thief; “After” His mother and His disciple were addressed; “After” the Father withdrew His presence from the Son; “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished . . . saith I thirst.” The Jews, stunned by what they have already experienced, heard a cry that stirred sympathy in the hearts of some of the crowd. Jesus again revealed His humanity by declaring "I thirst." In response to this cry, some of the people standing by took a sponge and filled it with vinegar and put it to His mouth. Jesus had refused the pain deadening wine that was offered to those about to be crucified (Matthew 27:34). A soldier moistened Jesus’ lips with cheap vinegar on a sponge (John 19:29). “I was thirsty and ye gave me drink” (Matthew 25:35).
When Jesus cried, “I thirst,” no doubt He was thirsting for the Father’s presence from which He had been separated. Perhaps He was also thirsting for the finality of His redemptive work. Remember, as the rich man was thirsty in the tormenting flames of hell (Luke 16:24), so the Saviour, bearing our sins in His own body on the cross, was thirsty as He suffered the judgment for us. What infinite and precious love! It is clear that the Lord Jesus was concerned “that the scripture might be fulfilled.” In John 19, four references are made to prophetical fulfillments related to His crucifixion (John 19:24, 28, 36, 37). In His life and in His death, the Living Word, did what He did in perfect agreement with the written Word. In order to fulfil the Scriptures, Jesus said, “I thirst.” He had just endured three hours of darkness when He felt the wrath of and separation from God (Matthew 27:45-49). Jesus experienced darkness, thirst, and isolation as well as, spiritual sufferings “My soul thirsteth for God” (Psalm 42:1-2). This fulfilled Psalm 22:15, “My tongue cleaveth to my jaws.” This shows the deep suffering Jesus went through.
Messianic themes in Psalm 69:
Psalm 69:3, “…my throat is dried.” John 19:38, “I thirst.”
Psalm 69:4, “They hated me without a cause. John 15:25, They hated me without a cause.”
Psalm 69:8, “I am become a stranger to my brethren.” John 7:5, “For neither did his brethren believe in Him.”
Psalm 69:9, “The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” John 2:17, “The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.”
Psalm 69:21, “…they gave me gall for my meat: in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” John 19:28-29, “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.”
Jesus had earlier said, “He that believeth on me shall never thirst” (John 6:35), and “If any man thirst, let him come into me and drink” (John 7:37). Jesus, who gave His life so man need never thirst spiritually, endured great physical thirst (John 4:13-15). The One Who had said that those who are thirsty are invited to come unto Him and drink was now thirsty. He thirsted that sinners might have their thirst quenched at the Fountain of the Waters of Life. Today, we can “give Jesus a drink” by sharing what we have with those in need. The Lord wants to draw your focus beyond the immediate to the eternal. Everyday we encounter empty vessels who are in desperate need for the Fountain of Living Water. Many in this world are spiritually thirsty but they have found nothing to quench their thirst. They have pursued the waters of pleasure, success, fame, and fortune, but they have been chasing a mirage without the Living Water Christ offers. It is our moral obligation to guide these people to the Living Water, whatever the cost.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, my soul truly thirsts after your righteousness. My desire is to continually pursue You each day until Your Son Jesus comes back for me. In Jesus name, Amen.
Thank you for reading PART 5 of the 7 PART Series titled “7 Sayings of Christ on the Cross”. Please visit this website tomorrow for Part 6.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.