Thirst is your body’s way of letting you know that you need water. Water is essential for your survival.
About three quarters of your body is composed of fluids. The average adult requires two and a half quarts of fluid each day. When your body is deprived of water, it interferes with your metabolism, causes dehydration, and is eventually fatal.
Most people reading these words have – either within your immediate grasp or a few steps away from you – something you can drink. It may be a cup of coffee, a can of soda, or a bottle of water. Right now, if you’re thirsty, there’s something available to you to take care of your thirst.
On the cross, Jesus experienced thirst.
After nearly six hours of suffering on the cross, Jesus experienced incredible thirst. As blood and sweat poured from His body, His central nervous system sent desperate messages to His brain to tell Him that He needed to drink something, immediately.
After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.”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. (John 19:28-29, ESV)
What did it mean for the Water of Life to say, “I thirst”?
It meant that the end of His life was very near. Jesus cried out in thirst “knowing that all was now finished.” Only a few more moments remained until the payment for our sin had been made in full. As Jesus felt the shooting pain of thirst, He knew that He had almost finished the task of laying down His life.
It meant that Scripture was fulfilled. In Psalm 69, David had prophesied of the suffering of Christ, writing:
I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God. (Psalm 69:3)
They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink. (Psalm 69:21)
To the very end of His life, Jesus was accomplishing what the Scripture had foretold about the Messiah and His mission. Hyssop was used to lift the sour wine to Jesus’ parched mouth just as hyssop had been used by Israel to sprinkle blood on their doors the night when they were delivered from captivity. Jesus, the true Passover Lamb, is the one door by which we must enter in order to be delivered.
It meant that Jesus fully experienced the pain and suffering of this world. He has participated in your suffering. The words, “I thirst,” stand as a powerful reminder that when we are in need, when we are in pain, when we are alone, when we are helpless, when we are exposed, and when we are suffering, Jesus has been there. He can sympathize with us.
While thirst is a negative experience, it has a positive effect. Thirst drives us to what we need for sustenance and life. Today, Jesus desires to give you a spiritual thirst for Himself. He promises that, when we “hunger and thirst for righteousness,” we will be filled (Matthew 5:6).
Have a great day and keep moving forward!
Suggested Bible Reading
Today as you pray …
Thank Jesus for suffering thirst for you on the cross.
Praise Him for being the Water of Life, so that those who come to Him never thirst.
Ask for Him to give you a deeper thirst for His Word, His righteousness, and His presence in your life.
Seek the filling of His Holy Spirit today, so that you live a life that pleases Him.
Ask for divine appointments today to minister to the needs of people around you.
During Holy Week, leading to Resurrection Sunday, “Moving Forward” devotionals will focus on the seven sayings of Jesus from the cross.