Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 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. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit (John 19:28-30).
When Jesus hung on the cross, one of the soldiers took pity on Jesus and moistened his lips with the cheap vinegar wine that common people drank. It’s understandable why Jesus felt dehydrated both physically and spiritually. He had a real human body and his physical, mental, and emotional suffering was horrific. When our Lord said, I am thirsty, according to John’s gospel, Jesus was fulfilling scripture, possibly referring to Psalm 69:21 and Psalm 22:15.
It’s interesting to recall Jesus’ words found in John 7:37-39: “On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.”
Jesus is saying that he can satisfy a person’s thirsty soul. You can drink from the wells of this world, and still be thirsty inside. Jesus invites us to come to him and drink, because he is the only one who can bring us true fulfillment and peace.
In John 4, our Lord told a woman at a well, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (v. 13-14).
God’s goal is to satisfy us and sustain us with the water of life, but he also wants to fill us with his Spirit so that the living water will well up inside and flow out of us for the benefit of others. When it comes to your spiritual life, is it more like a bubbly spring and a powerful river or a slow-dripping faucet?
When we pray to receive Christ as Lord and Savior, the Spirit of God immediately comes to live within us, and a new life begins (Romans 8:9). The Bible also makes it clear that every Christ follower needs to pray for the fullness of the Spirit. The Spirit of God wants to drench us. He wants to saturate our entire being and consume us with his power and love. The Spirit wants to make us witnesses for Christ in this world (Acts 1:8).
Jesus once said that if you feed someone, or clothe someone, or give a cup of water to someone in need, you’re doing it for me (Matthew 25:34-40). It’s a cool thought that we actually minister to the Lord when we minister to people in his name.
Jesus became thirsty in a physical sense when he was crucified for you and me. Today, the resurrected Christ still offers to quench our spiritual thirst, when we place our lives in his hands. He became thirsty so we could be given the water of life to satisfy our thirsty souls and be transformed into a supplier of water to the needy world around us. Thankfully, we never have to worry about running out when the Spirit of God flows like a river in and through our lives.
Lord, thank you for being the one who can satisfy the spiritual hunger and thirst in our souls. Today, we give our lives to you and ask you to fill us with your Spirit and empower us for service. We recognize our need for you and pray that your Spirit will work through us to bless the lives of others.
Have you ever asked the Lord to fill you to overflowing with his Spirit?