He Knows what it is to be Human
One of the most basic human needs is to drink. Few things refresh us the way a cold glass of water does on a hot summer’s day or in the middle of the night. We can survive for a time without water, but eventually we’ll become dehydrated—or worse—if we don’t drink.
John provides us with a peculiar phrase from the cross when he records that Jesus said, “I am thirsty,” (John 19:28-29). John adds that this was to fulfill scripture.
This short line keeps us from over-theologizing the cross. Yes, Jesus is the perfect Son of God. He took on the punishment for our sin, dying in our place: a sinless substitution. This is what we celebrate on Good Friday. It’s my hope that you’d believe this!
However, Jesus’ thirst reminds us that He was also completely human. He felt every ounce of the pain of the cross. He even became parched in His immense suffering. The drink offered to Jesus quenched His thirst and cleared His throat for one more cry from the cross. He had already rejected the drink that could have numbed the pain (Matthew 27:34).
If you are suffering, remember that you have a Saviour who can empathize with every physical ailment you face, hurt you feel, injustice done to you as well as the mental exhaustion caused by your grief. Be encouraged by these words, “We do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)
Jesus’ words on the cross also call to mind his earlier instructions to the disciples: discipleship often means helping people in practical ways (Matthew 10:42). Jesus served people right up to His last breath on the cross. In this season of uncertainty, let’s be on the lookout for those who could use a “cup of water.”
May God give us the mercy and strength to be people who serve even when we ourselves are hurting or feeling vulnerable. It is often the hardest moments of our lives that God uses to show us how near He is. These seasons of suffering also become powerful testimonies for others of God’s faithfulness.
Prayer: Father, we cannot say thank you enough for the sacrifice of Jesus. His suffering puts our pain in perspective and gives us comfort in knowing you understand our hurts.
We pray for those who thirst today, physically and spiritually. Be their strength. Help us to express the love of Christ in practical ways. We pray in the power of Jesus’ name, Amen.
God bless you,
Pastor Andrew Melo