Summary: Creative exposition on Christ’s words "I thirst" from John 19:28.

The 6 Last Phrases of the Christ

“I Thirst”

4/4/04 ACC

Alan Scott

C.T. – Jesus words of “I thirst” point to different levels of spiritual levels of thirst we all have.

Text – John 19:28; Psalm 69:21; Hebrews 4:14-16; John 4:13-14; Rev. 3:20


Seeing “The Passion Of The Christ” again on Thursday night with Brooklynn and Lauren. It seems odd to say this, but I had two favorite moments in this movie. They were both personal vignettes or flashbacks into Jesus’ life. (PASSION PIX #1) One showed Jesus building a table and teasing his mother. The other one happened as Jesus was carrying his cross through the streets of Jerusalem. Jesus falls, and his mother (PASSION PIX #2) has a flashback to when Jesus was a little boy and falls. I’m fairly confident that this scene tugged on all the maternal instincts of every mom in the theatre.

These two “favorite scenes” made Jesus very real. It drew you to him. These scenes helped to bring the Messiah closer to your own heart.

While on the cross, Jesus says a short phrase that makes him real again. It’s a phrase that draws us to him. In the Greek, in fact, it’s only one word.

John 19:28-29 (pg. 753) … read

(Illus. – my kids playing warm, warmer, hot, hotter – you know how this is played? – I was on the couch watching the NCAA basketball tournament – I was under a big blanket, dosing in and out of all the basketball – suddenly I hear Lauren yell, “Warm!” – Brooklynn was trying to find my red-headed monster, Morgan – As Brooklynn came into the living room Lauren yelled, “Warmer!” – As Brooklynn came over by the TV and me, she cried out, “Hot!” – by this time I’m trying to get them to take it into the other room – they had awakened me and were interrupting my precious basketball/nap time – Brooklynn came over to the couch and Lauren yelled, “Hotter!” – I told them that I wasn’t playing… I wasn’t the one they were looking for – Brooklynn raised up the blanket and there found Morgan… she had crawled under my blanket when I was asleep and hid)

Mother Teresa – “The closer you come to Jesus, the better you will know his thirst.”

The closer you are to Jesus, the better you will understand his words, “I thirst.” If this is true, then there are four levels of closeness… warm, warmer, hot, hotter… that you can get to Jesus. Let’s try to determine where you and I are at.

(four chairs – four signs… warm, warmer, hot, hotter)

WARM: Jesus’ Thirst Is My Proof.

This first level is NOT a bad place to be. At this first level you begin to see proof or evidence that Jesus is really real.

When Jesus said, “I thirst,” on the cross, he was fulfilling Old Testament prophecy. Look at John 19:28 again. Read…

The prophecy being fulfilled came from the Old Testament book of Psalms…

Psalm 69:21 (pg. 405) … read.

In Jesus’ lifetime, Jesus fulfilled some 330 Old Testament prophecies. Things written about Jesus centuries earlier, actually came to pass with the life of Jesus.

Peter W. Stoner (Mathematician & scientist) calculated one man fulfilling just 8 Old Testament prophecies:

1 in 10to the 17th power! 100,000,000,000,000,000!! 100 quadrillion.

To help us understand the number 100 quadrillion, Stoner came up with this comparison:

If you covered the state of Texas with 100 quadrillion silver dollars, the entire state would be covered with silver dollars two FEET deep! Take just one silver dollar and mark it with a big “X”. Stir up the silver dollars all over the state. Now take a blindfolded man and tell him he can travel the whole state of Texas, but he has to find that one, marked silver dollar. What chance would he have in finding it? 1 in 10 to the 17th power. 1 in 100 quadrillion!

Are you seeing the point yet?

Victory Publishing Company out of Denver, CO has a standing offer to anyone who can find someone, other than Jesus, who can fulfill just half of Jesus’ 330 Old Testament prophets. If you can find that person, Victory Publishing will give you $1,000.

(PASSION PIX #3) As Jesus says, “I thirst,” he is fulfilling Old Testament prophecy. This was one of 330 other prophecies he fulfilled. As Jesus says, “I thirst,” He is giving us evidence that he really is the Messiah. He is the real deal?

By the way, the chance of any one man fulfilling all 300 prophecies, as Jesus did, is 1 in 840 untrigintillion… that’s 97 zeroes!

Why didn’t the religious leaders, the elders, the chief priests, the teachers of the Old Testament law see Jesus as the Messiah? These were experts of the Old Testament. Why didn’t they see Jesus fulfilling scripture? They weren’t thirsty.

“The closer you come to Jesus, the better you will know his thirst.” LET’S GET CLOSER…

WARMER: Jesus’ Thirst Understands My Pain.

As Jesus says, “I thirst,” don’t we have to ask the question: WHY?

Why does Jesus endure his thirst? This is the Creator of the universe. With his words the oceans came into being. Jesus turned water into wine. This was the God who parted the Red Sea. He had turned rocks into water fountains. Water held no power over Jesus, rather He was the Living water. Why wouldn’t Jesus do something about his thirst?

But if we read through the New Testament… especially the first four books… we can ask other questions like: “Why was Jesus hungry, and weary, and sad, and sleepy, and angry, and hungry?”

(Illus. – I like to watch the Crocodile Hunter – Steve Irwin amazes me – with just about every episode I watch, I will let out these words, “That guy is nuts!” – Steve Irwin sees the world’s most dangerous, venomous snake and has to pick it up and touch it – Steve Irwin sees an angry, killer alligator in a swamp, and MUST jump in the water with it – he gets as close as he can… he invades the environments of these animals so he can understand them, know them, and help them – he risks it all to be with them and understand them)

Max Lucado says about Jesus: “Because He understands, we can come to him He knew you would be weary, disturbed, and angry. He knew you’d be sleepy, grief-stricken, and hungry. He knew you’d face pain. If not the pain of body, the pain of the soul… pain too sharp for any drug. He knew you’d face thirst. If not a thirst for water, at least a thirst for truth, and the truth we glean from the image of a thirsty Christ is --- he understands.”

(Illus – several years ago the NBA player were threatening to strike – they were going to shut down the league – no professional basketball – what amazed the league and players was that nobody cared! – the fans began to talk about how nobody could relate to the NBA players anyone – the players didn’t understand the common fan any longer - nobody could relate to their multi-million dollar contracts, huge mansions, outlandish lifestyles, and multiple, extravagant cars – nobody could relate so nobody cared.)

(PASSION PIX #4) Hebrews 4:14-16 (pg. 830) … read

If your Prince of Peace didn’t have pimples, then you really have no Savior at all

GET CLOSER…When Jesus says, “I thirst,” he tells you that he cares for you and understands you. Is your body wracked with pain? So was His. Have family members left you and wronged you? So did His. Are you misunderstood and misjudged by others? So was He.

HOT: Jesus’ Thirst For God Prompts Mine.

(PASSION PIX #5) REMEMBER: Jesus said - “Jesus also said, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

These were desperate, rigid words because Jesus was feeling distance and separation from God the Father. The sins of all time were piled onto Jesus, and God the Father had to separate himself from sin and His Son.

After experiencing this separation… this taste of Hell… Jesus says, “I thirst.” This goes beyond a physical thirst to a spiritual one. Jesus is thirsting for God…

Did you know your body was 2/3’s water? By the time you are 70, you will have required 1 ½ million gallons of water. If you lose 2% of your body’s water supply, your energy decreases by 20%. If you lose 10%, you’re unable to walk. If you lose 20% of your body’s water supply, you’re dead. You can only survive about 72 hours without water.

Jesus is on the cross and he is thirsty… for spiritual water… for living water. He can go no longer without it. He can go no longer being separated from His heavenly Father.

Psalm 42:1-2 – “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” (Jesus would have known this verse… maybe is recalling it as he cries out, “I thirst.”)

What are you thirsty for? Success? Beauty? Recognition? Money?

(Illus. – guy in Bible College in search for the perfect wife – he had an amazing gift of dating all the girls that everyone else wanted to … except for me, because I had already found perfection with Sherry – this guy was in search for the perfect girl – he ewould come in from a date, and our whole floor would quiz him… “Is this the one?” – “Nope, she had a mole on the back of her neck” – “Is this the one?” – “Nope, she had a gap between her two front teeth.” – he eventually did get married, but most of us wondered if he just had to give up what he was searching for!)

What are you searching for? What are you thirsty for?

(Illus. – our first apartment… a refurbished barn – doesn’t get any better than this! – moved to Washington and wanted a little better – with our little house on West Walnut we said, “Doesn’t get any better than this!” – we moved to Atlanta and wanted a little better – we bought a bigger house and went way in debt – we said, “There is no way we’ll EVER want anything bigger or better than this – we moved back to Washington and we looked for something bigger and better – do you think this searching… this thirsting ever stops? – are we ever satisfied?)

John 4:13-14 (pg. 738) … read

What are you thirsting for?

(Illus. – young single mom searching and thirsting – trying to work, trying to be a mom – she’s searching for how it all works – she’s thirsty – she turned to Meth… it was the answer… for about four days – this wasn’t quenching her thirst, it was making her more confused and more thirsty)

Jesus thirsts for God, the only real thirst quencher. His thirst should prompt ours.

HOTTER: Jesus’ Thirst I Can Quench!

“The closer you come to Jesus, the better you will know his thirst.” This is the closest you can come to Jesus. When you’re this close, you understand that Jesus’ thirst was for you.

I Timothy 2:3-4 (L.B.) – “For He LONGS for all to be saved and to understand this truth: That God is on one side and all the people on the other side, and Christ Jesus, himself man, is between them to bring them together, by giving his life for all mankind.”

The word “longs” means “determination, resolve, desires and thirsts.”

Jesus on the cross is thirsting for us. How does that make you feel? You have the capability to quench the thirst of Christ!

Revelation 3:20 (Msg.) – “Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you.”

Who’s seeking whom? Who’s thirsty for whom? Jesus is thirsty. He’s knocking. He’s wanting to have supper with us!

(PASSION PIX #6) In John 4, Jesus is weary. He’s thirsty. He sits to rest and sees a Samaritan woman getting ready to draw some water from a well. Jesus points this woman to eternal things Jesus asks if she’ll give him a drink. What ensues is a conversation about living water and what really satisfies. Here’s the interesting part: Jesus never does take a drink of water! He was thirsty, remember?

In fact, Jesus’ disciples later ask him if he’s hungry… maybe he should eat and drink. Jesus replies by saying he’s not hungry or thirsty anymore. He tells them he’s had some real food. His thirst has been quenched from this woman coming to faith… His thirst has been quenched from this woman coming to Jesus and drinking living water.

You can quench Jesus’ thirst by coming to him. He’s thirsting for you.

An important thing to note about thirst. You’ll do just about anything to quench it.

(Illus. – Sherry and I – pre kids – walking on the beach – lemon-ice shake ups for $2.50 – we checked our swim-trunks and didn’t have $2.50 – we came up with change that totaled 84 cents – we asked for 85 cents worth of lemon-ice shake up! - you’ll do anything it takes to quench your thirst!)

Jesus will do whatever it takes to quench his thirst for you.

(TESTIMONY – Randy Ward…)

CONCLUSION: Are you warm, warmer, hot or hotter?