Leslie M. John
After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. (John 19:28)
According to medical science “thirst” is the craving for fluids. Thirst arises in living beings as a result of fluid levels falling down below the normal levels. The brain sends signals to desire for fluids and drink them in order that vital body functions may not become dysfunctional. Continual lack of supply of fluids to the cells in the body will result in dehydration, and functions of vital organs such as kidneys to become dysfunctional resulting in death.
Why did the Son of God, Lord Jesus thirst? Although Jesus was divine, He also had human nature in Him when He was on this earth. He was fully divine and fully human.
On His incarnation and while descending from heaven to the earth, in human form, He voluntarily relinquished His glory that He had with the Father, and took upon a form of servant, in the likeness of man. No man could do any harm to Him until He voluntarily became a sacrifice for us in order that we may receive salvation. Salvation is available for anyone who seeks for it, free of cost.
When a man is thirsty and does not receive water to drink, and instead receives unsavory drink, he surely feels frustrated. However, when Lord Jesus was on the cross, he did not chide anyone for doing any wrong to Him any time; not even when soldiers and one of the two thieves mocked at Him; rather He said “Father forgive them for they do not know what they do”.
It would be so comforting and soothing if we receive water when we are thirsty; however, when the creator of this universe did not receive water in response His craving for water when He said “I thirst”, He received from them “a jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth”. He tasted it and found it unsavory.
Lord Jesus lived among people and healed the sick, forgave them their sin, and helped in their needs and yet they insulted Him, scourged Him, and spat upon His face. They put upon His head a crown of thorns and mocked saying “King of the Jews”. There were no thorns when God created the earth, but the thorns grew as a result of man’s disobedience (cf. Gen 3:18). Here, the crown of thorns represents that curse which He took upon Himself, on behalf of us.
Jesus bore our sin upon Himself when He was on the cross as a sacrificial “Lamb of God” to purge our sins, and later sit at the right hand of the Majesty. He was in agony on the cross and craved for water, but no man found sympathy towards Him. He accomplished the purpose and the prophecies were fulfilled. This is unique about Christianity that Jesus came into this world according to prophecies and died and rose from the dead according to prophecies. There was no way man could get salvation unless He died on behalf of sinners, by taking upon Himself the sin of every man in this world.
There is neither salvation available by doing good works and in any other man. There was never a god who came to die for the sins of others; much less fulfilling any prophecy and much less rising from the dead and ascending into heaven. Good works follow salvation but they are not the means to attain salvation. God works deserve appreciation but they can never save a man from escaping from the “lake of fire”. The only way to escape from being thrown into hell-fire is to accept Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior.
If we say we have no sin in us or we have no sin in our selves we make God a liar. The Bible says everyone has sinned and come short of the glory. We have all gone astray and need savior. While we were yet sinners, being enemies of God, and without any strength, He died on behalf of us and that is God’s love. It is by grace through faith that we are saved.
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8)
He said “I thirst”. The Lord not only bore our griefs and our sorrows, but He also took upon Himself our sin that we might be made righteous by accepting Him as the Lord.
It was a cry of the Lord, who was triumphant over Satan by judging sin on the cross, and yet they gave Him vinegar and thus the prophecies were fulfilled.
“They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink”. (Psalms 69:21)
“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5 ESV)
It is time now time for those of us, who are not saved, to repent of their sins and accept Jesus as their Savior and believe in heart that God raised Him from the dead.
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21)