John 19:28 reads, “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.” When Jesus uttered those words “I thirst,” He had been on the cross for six hours. Every Old Testament scripture pertaining to His sufferings on the cross had been accomplished except for Psalm 69:21 which says, “They gave me also gall for my meat; and IN MY THIRST THEY GAVE ME VINEGAR TO DRINK.” Though Jesus had suffered unimaginable pain and agony, He was still in control of His thoughts and thus He knew that one more scripture needed to be fulfilled. His words “I thirst” brought about that fulfillment, for in verse 29 we read, “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.” I’m quite sure the soldiers didn’t have a clue that scripture was being fulfilled by this act, but God had foretold it would happen and so it did!

Jesus’ words “I thirst” were not simply said to fulfill scripture; HE WAS TRULY THIRSTY. At the beginning of the crucifixion the soldiers had offered Him vinegar as we saw in the first half of Psalm 69:21. Matthew 27:34 speaks also of this, “They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink it.” Why did Jesus refuse the vinegar at that time? Because the vinegar they offered Him initially was a stimulant given to criminals as an act of mercy to help deaden the excruciating pain brought about by crucifixion. But Jesus rejected it because He would not allow anything to numb His senses and lessen the pain. And besides that, there was NO THIRST at that time. But after hanging on the cross for six hours He was experiencing all of the terrible effects of crucifixion, one of them being EXTREME THIRST. David wrote prophetically of this in Psalm 22:15, “My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and MY TONGUE CLEAVETH TO MY JAWS.” So, when Jesus said “I thirst” HE WAS TRULY THIRSTY!

Before we close this meditation, I would like to give Jesus’ words “I thirst” a spiritual application. In John 4:7 we see the Lord Jesus saying to a woman of Samaria, “Give me to drink.” She had come to draw water from the well and the Lord met her there with this request. I have no doubt that Jesus was literally thirsty when He said those words, but as you read the whole conversation between the Lord Jesus and the Samaritan woman, you learn that Jesus was more interested in her need of salvation than He was in drinking water from the well. In other words, Jesus was THIRSTING FOR THE SALVATION OF HER SOUL! We know that eventually He revealed Himself to her as the Christ and she believed on Him. She went away SAVED and Jesus “thirst for her salvation” was SATISFIED!

Are you saved, dear reader? Do you realize that Jesus Christ suffered for your sins on the cross so you could be eternally saved? If you have never believed on Him as your personal Savior, won’t you do so right now? Acts 16:31 says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” If you refuse to believe on Him, you will “die in your sins,” as we see in John 8:24. This means you will have to suffer for your own sins for all eternity and one of the sufferings of the lost will be an UNQUENCHABLE THIRST. This is graphically described in the words of the rich man in Luke 16:23-24, “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments…and he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, THAT HE MAY DIP HIS FINGER IN WATER, AND COOL MY TONGUE; FOR I AM TORMENTED IN THIS FLAME.” You do NOT have to experience this thirst in hell, for Jesus already suffered this thirst for you. Again, I would urge you to “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”  (197.7)  (DO)