This cry of the Lord Jesus from the cross reveals so much about the blessed Son of God as He died for our sins.  We have seven sayings of the Lord Jesus from the cross recorded in God’s Word.  In the order of the sayings, this one is the fifth saying and is only recorded for us in the book of John.  John 19:28 says, “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.”

“After this” refers to the words of the Lord to His mother and to His disciple, John.  John 19:26-27 says, “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.”  It was after praying for the forgiveness of those who were crucifying Him, after giving eternal life to the repentant thief on the cross beside Him, and after making sure that his mother would be taken care in His physical absence that the Lord then spoke of His thirst.

Certainly, the Lord was suffering from extreme thirst, and this is a certain manifestation of His HUMANITY.  Yet notice that He spoke in order to fulfill scripture.  This is a certain manifestation of the DEITY of the Lord Jesus.  In the face of incredible suffering, He makes sure that all scripture concerning about Him is fulfilled.  Here, He is no doubt referring to Psalm 69:21 which says, “They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”  That is exactly what happened for John 19:29 tells us, “Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.”

A stalk of hyssop would probably not be any longer than eighteen inches in length, yet that would have been long enough to reach His lips from the ground as those around Him fixed a sponge upon the hyssop and raised it to Him.  It is supposed that this vinegar was a sour wine that was common for the Roman soldiers to drink, so it is no surprise that it was available for them to offer up to the Lord.

While we may properly consider and mourn over the terrible treatment the Lord received by those around Him as He hung on the cross, the true and greatest suffering came from God as He punished His dear Son for our sins.  Romans 8:32 tells us that God “spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all…”  No, God did not spare His Son.  Rather, He punished Him greatly as the Lord Jesus “bare our sins in his own body on the tree.” (1 Peter 2:24).

Now, I have a question for you, dear reader…do you thirst?  The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”  Hunger and thirst, here, are expressive of having a strong desire.  As a believer on the Lord Jesus Christ, do you have a strong desire to please the Lord by doing the right things…by doing His will in all things?  When we hunger and thirst after that righteousness, the Lord will certainly fill us.  (363.2)