The last words a dying person speaks to his/her loved ones are usually full of meaning and significance. This is especially true of the dying Jesus on the cross. The 4 Gospels record the 7 last sayings of Christ in their Passion narratives of Christ’s crucifixion. Let us take a look at one of these last words of Jesus from John 19:28 – “I am thirsty.”
The fact that Jesus was thirsty on the cross reminds us that Jesus was fully human. He had lost a tremendous amount of blood through the scourgings he suffered and through the nails that he was pierced with on the cross.
Jesus is not just some imaginary mythic figure like the dying and rising nature gods of Egyptian and Greek paganism. Jesus is not some fictional pagan Christ. He is God’s anointed…….God’s Christ who actually lived, suffered and died for the sins of the world.
We All Thirst
Because Jesus physically lived, died and rose again from the dead, he is able to meet the real needs of real people. He is able to meet our deepest emotional, psychological and spiritual needs. In John 7:37-38, Jesus proclaims these words on the last and greatest day of the Feast of Tabernacles:
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever
believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living
water will flow from within him.”
John then explains the meaning of Jesus’ words in verse 39:
“By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him
were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been
given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.”
Jesus became thirsty for us so that we would not have to waste our lives thirsting for and pursuing after those things which cannot satisfy. We have eternity in our hearts and only the eternal God can fill it. Addictions arise in our lives as we seek to fill that God-shaped vacuum within us with temporal things.
Sex, sports, food & drink, and work are great gifts from our Creator God when they are integrated into our lives in a God-ordered way. But they make cruel taskmasters when they take God’s rightful place of preeminence in our lives. They can become idols, and when they do, they become broken cisterns which cannot hold the living water of joy and satisfaction.
Jesus Truly Satisfies
In John 10:10, Jesus says these words: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” How does Jesus do this in our lives? It is through a faithful and sacrificial relationship with us. Let us read these words of Jesus in John 10:11-14:
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life f
for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns
the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the
sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and
scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and
and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd;
I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”
Jesus is our Good Shepherd…..He is our Living Well……Let us learn to drink deeply of his Living Water……We won’t be disappointed.