What is the significance of Jesus’ words, “I thirst”?

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I thirst

Jesus’ words, “I thirst,” were among the last words that He spoke on the cross. The apostle John wrote,  “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 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. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit” (John 19:28-30).

Fulfillment of prophecy

Jesus said the words “I thirst” to fulfill the Old Testament prophecy written by David in Psalm 22:15 which says: “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.” This psalm has been named a prophetic and Messianic psalm and has sometimes been termed “The Psalm of the Cross.” It was named so because of references in it that New Testament writers apply to the sufferings of the innocent Son of God during His passion, when, despite His faith in God, it appeared that God had forsaken Him (Matthew 27:46).

In response to Jesus’ petition, one of soldiers ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. This was the second drink offered Jesus (Matthew 27:48). Earlier, Jesus refused a drink of vinegar, gall, and myrrh offered to Him to ease His pain (Matthew 27:34 and Mark 15:23). This also was a fulfillment of Psalm 69:21: “They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.” The gospel of Luke also mentions this, “The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine” (Luke 23:36).

It is finished

Immediately after receiving the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished,” and then bowed His head and gave up His spirit (John 19:30). Matthew, Mark, and Luke, tell us that, as Jesus died, He cried out with a loud voice (Matthew 27:50; Mark 15:37). Luke reports, “Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last” (Luke 23:46). Jesus died with the words of Psalm 31:5 upon His lips. The attitude thus expressed shows the spirit of humble submission to the will of the Father for the redemption of mankind (Matt. 26:39).

Jesus had completed the work His Father had given Him to do (John 4:34). Every step in the plan of salvation, laid before the foundation of the world, had been completed according to schedule (Luke 2:49). The devil had been defeated in his attempts to overthrow the plan. And Christ’s victory assured the salvation of man. The apostle Paul declared,“In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7)

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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