April 14, 2014 • By Ed Wrather
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 NKJV.
For human life to exist there must be water because more than half of the human body consists of water. According to About.com, “The average adult human body is 50-65% water, averaging around 57-60%.” In Dala, Myanmar, lines of people form every afternoon to obtain a couple of buckets of drinking water from a reservoir near Yangon. For each bucket of water the cost is 10 kyats, about 10 cents (U.S.). People walk for miles for the water, but they hope in a year or two the government will install pipes to provide them with water closer to their homes (NewsOk.com; FoxNews 04.12.14). In the United States, we still have drought conditions across much of the country. Parts of Australia have also experienced a drought along with other places in the world. If we want to live, we must have water.
I have been preaching through the last seven statements of Jesus from the cross. “I thirst” is the fifth statement. “I thirst” speaks to the humanity of Jesus and we can all understand it. Most of us have been thirsty before. We have perhaps worked out in the hot sun becoming so thirsty that our bodies begin to rebel until we find some water to drink. With this statement, Jesus is identifying with all of humanity because He not only is fully divine, but also fully human.
One of the early heresies of the Christian faith was Docetism. Those believing this heresy agreed with the deity of Christ, but rejected his humanity. Their view was that Jesus only appeared to be human denying that Jesus suffered while on the cross. Jesus’ fifth statement from the cross confronts this heresy allowing all to see His humanity.
Why was it necessary for Jesus to suffer as a human being on the cross? Hebrews 2:14-18 explains, “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” Without the human suffering of Jesus, we would not have a Savior. Jesus became the perfect sacrifice, the Lamb of God, by being tempted in His humanity at all points like we are, yet without sin. As we are told in Hebrews 4:15, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
In this Easter season, we can have hope when we feel pain whether that pain is physical or mental. We can have hope when we feel alone, because God Himself has suffered. He knows what it is like to be human, to be like you and me. He knows what it is like to experience the very worst that life can send a person’s way.
Because Jesus experienced thirst, He has become the Savior who alone can satisfy our spiritual thirst. In Revelation 21:6 Jesus shouts to all that would hear and believe, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who THIRSTS.” Come to Jesus and receive forgiveness for your sins! Come to Jesus and find meaning, purpose, peace, and eternal life! “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).” Will you allow Jesus to quench your thirst?