Summary: The fifth in a series on the seven sayings of Christ on the cross.
~ Ray Pritchard
Took everything he had to utter the single word (in Greek), “I’m thirsty.”
A jar of wine vinegar was there
This was the common drink of Roman soldiers. It was a light wine, turned sour and mixed with water. (from Barnes’ Notes)
Vinegar – OFr. > wine + sour
put it on a stalk of a hyssop plant
Interesting note – the hyssop branch was what was used during the Passover to spread the blood of the Passover lamb on the doorposts of the house.
lifted it to Jesus’ lips
Had already refused gall, which was somewhat of a numbing agent. It was given to knock the edge off of the pain. Sour wine, on the other hand, would actually revive and strengthen him somewhat.
They were expecting him to cry out more for “Elijah”. Possibly thought that they had finally broken him. He finally cried out on his own behalf. They were possibly expecting to hear more words of pain and suffering.
Points to Ponder:
• His humanity
This is not the first time we’ve seen the humanity of Christ demonstrated. He got tired, he cried, he got hungry, he slept, he needed time alone. But again in this, we’re reminded of his humanity.
"Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being." Phil 2:6-7 NLT
Why is that important? Because sacrifice had to be made. Blood had to be shed. And God cannot die. So he became man. The humanity of Christ made it possible for him to be tempted by sin. The humanity of Christ made it possible for him to experience what we experience – to feel what we feel.
His humanity made it possible for him to suffer on our behalf.
• His obedience
"When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross." Phil 2: 8 NLT
This wasn’t pleasant – physically, spiritually, or emotionally. Yet he knew the plan.
"Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?" Matt 26:52-54 NIV
This God, who in the OT, caused the water to flow from the rock to satisfy Israel’s thirst. This God, now in the flesh, turned the water to wine to bring joy to a wedding party. He taught the woman at the well about living water. And while he could have miraculously made water flow from the very cross he hung on to quench his own thirst, he was obedient to the prophecies. He was submissive to the plan.
• His thirst / our thirst
His physical thirst reminds me of my spiritual thirst. And how I am to thirst after him.
"As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God." Ps 42:1-2
And if I long for Christ, the living water, I’ll never thirst again – I will be satisfied.
Jesus replied, "Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life." John 4:13-14 NLT