Summary: Our thirst for Christ
FAMOUS LAST WORDS: I THIRST
BEFORE THE CROSS
This morning, as we quietly and humbly stand before the cross of Jesus Christ, and as we hear His words tumble into our hearts, there is a challenge that comes to us from the Holy Spirit. That challenge is not to just hear Jesus words, but to let the power and meaning of His words bring purpose and hope and direction our lives. And I feel sure that all of us could use a little bit of that.
When Jesus spoke from the cross, His words were not only for those who were there at the foot of the cross and could hear Him. His final words were spoken for every person of every generation, and that includes you.
Even though He was dying, and even in His weakened physical state, the words He spoke that day, two thousand years ago are just as powerful today as they were the moment He first spoke them; because His words are eternal words.
Of the seven final statements that Jesus spoke from the cross His fifth statement is the shortest and would appear to be the simplest to understand, and yet His words, “I thirst,” are power packed with eternal meaning. His words, “I thirst,” does have an obvious meaning, but when you compare His words with how He lived His life and with the word of God, there is a powerful message here filled with great eternal meaning.
So the challenge is that we must not just hear His words on a mental and physical level; don’t let that happen to you today. The challenge is to look beyond the obvious meaning of His words and that you hear His words with your heart and see their meaning through the eyes of eternity.
It is my prayer that you hear these words and let its eternal meaning fill your soul.
Let’s stand together as we read the fifth of Jesus final seven statements from the cross.
John 19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I thirst!" 29 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. NKJV
In His fifth statement from the cross, Jesus spoke two words and said, “I thirst.”
When I read this passage, two thoughts immediately grab my attention.
First, I am deeply moved that throughout this entire ordeal, this is the first and only time that Jesus spoke anything about His own personal need, but as we will find out in a few minutes there is far more to it than that.
Second, there is a reason why Jesus said, “I thirst,” and it was not just because He desired a drink of water. There is something here far greater than that.
When Jesus said, “I thirst” I believe He was revealing an eternal message for anyone who is willing to listen. Today, that message is for you.
I’m sure that all of us at some point in our lives have encountered a time when we desperately needed and desired a cold drink of water. We all know how a cool, refreshing drink of water can satisfy a deep unquenchable thirst, and revitalize us.
But can you imagine that the one the Bible calls the eternal water of life saying, “I thirst?”
How is that possible?
Capture this picture in your mind.
See Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane where He sweat great drops of blood.
See Him as He is arrested and carried away for trial.
See Him as He faces His accusers and then is slapped and beaten.
See Him as Pilate allows Him to be scourged which brought a great loss of blood.
See Him as He carries His cross to Calvary and where He is nailed to the cross.
See Him as the blood flows from His wounds
See Him as He hangs from the cross for six brutal hours.
See Him as His body is weak and drained and yet, instead of requesting anything to drink earlier when He could have, He is instead focused on the needs of others and the will of God.
And now we hear Him say, “I thirst.” How is that possible?
How is it possible that the creator of oceans and lakes and rivers could ever be thirsty?
John 1:3 tells us that Jesus created all things, which would obviously include water.
So, how is it possible that the eternal Lord of glory, the one who calmed a raging sea; the one who walked on water, and turned water into wine, is now Himself asking for a drop of water? How can that be? Why didn’t He create a miracle for Himself?