Day 31: I Am Thirsty

John 19:28-29
Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.

Psalm 22:15
My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.

Psalm 69:21
They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.

Jesus’ time on the cross was now coming to an end, but he had three statements yet to utter. And as the Scripture above tells us, he knew it was almost over. And yet, he would continue to fulfill the prophecies of Scripture, just as he had throughout his entire life on earth. Someone has counted 332 distinct Old Testament prophecies that Jesus fulfilled. And Jesus knew he was fulfilling every one.

Jesus was thirsty. And please understand that he did not say this simply so that he would be offered wine vinegar and thus fulfill prophecy: he was really thirsty! He was truly human, and he experienced to the full the incredible thirst of a dying man. See how completely he entered into our humanity. The wine offered to him was a sour wine used by the soldiers to quench their thirst; it was not the wine mixed with myrrh he had previously refused as a sedative (Mark 15:23). Imagine yourself being thirstier than you have ever been, and being given sour wine to drink. Blech! Water would have been so much better.

And notice how the sponge was lifted to his lips. They used a hyssop plant; this was the same plant that was used to sprinkle blood on the doorposts at the first Passover (Exodus 12:22) so that the angel of death would pass over that house. Jesus tasted death on our behalf; Jesus is the true Passover lamb. Jesus was “willing to suffer burning thirst in order that for his people he might be the everlasting fountain of living water.” (William Hendriksen) As Jesus had earlier said to the Jews, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:37-38)

Have you tasted that soul-refreshing stream? Has your deepest thirst been quenched by the Savior? Come to Jesus today, drink, and live!

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Behold, I freely give
the living water, thirsty one;
stoop down and drink and live.”
I came to Jesus, and I drank
of that life-giving stream;
my thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
and now I live in him. (Horatius Bonar)