But why did the Lord Jesus say these two words as He hung on the cross? I want to offer some perspectives.
7 Last Words reflection: 'I thirst'
Everything He ever said or did was according to the Scriptures. He wasn't bookish, but was ultimately adherent and obedient to God's Word. And that is why He is able to do the Father's will. Some, on the other hand, say John saw Christ's words as a fulfillment of Psalm , which says:.
Christ was, of course, fully human just like us. After being lashed and walking for a distance with a heavy wooden cross on His shoulders under the heat of the sun, the Lord Jesus Himself would obviously be longing for water. Some see this as fulfillment of Psalm , which says,. But he had seen that Jesus was dying unlike any other criminal he had ever seen.
No cursing, no blaming, no anger. What was it like to watch Jesus' slow death?
Perhaps it had impressed the soldier with something like St. Peter's words:. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. Peter concludes this passage with something, however, that the soldier did not yet know, echoing the words of the Suffering Servant passage of Isaiah The posca offered by a soldier on his sponge that day was an act of mercy to the One who was bringing God's mercy to all humankind.
Hyssop was used to sprinkle blood on the doorposts and lintels on the first Passover Exodus It was associated with purification and sacrifices in the tabernacle Leviticus , 6; Numbers , No doubt John had this in mind when he wrote his Gospel.
I Thirst Movement
John tells us that Jesus actually drank some of the vinegary posca from the sponge. For a few seconds, at least, Jesus sucked the posca from the sponge. He didn't drink long enough to slake what must have been moderate to severe dehydration from loss of blood, exposure to the elements, and the necessity of gasping for breath through his mouth.
The end was near.
So he drank only enough to moisten his parched throat so that his last words of triumph might be heard across the hilltop of Golgotha. First and probably of greatest importance, Jesus' word "I thirst," reminds us of Jesus' physical nature, his humanity. This was tangible physical suffering, of which extreme thirst is the one element most of us can readily identify with from our own personal experience.
There was a heresy afoot in the Hellenistic world that Jesus didn't really come in flesh and blood, much less die a gruesome physical death on the cross. Flesh was of the evil realm, they believed, and could never be holy. Only spirit was capable of the divine.
So Jesus didn't really die, he only appeared to. He was only pretending. Thus said Docetism and Gnosticism. Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. And this is the spirit of the antichrist Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Jesus Fifth Word, "I thirst," reminds us that Jesus died in the flesh for us and for our sins. The best known passage, of course, is the Servant Song from Isaiah For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
He knew it well and referred to it again and again.
The Seven Last Words of Christ: I Thirst
So that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, 'I am thirsty. Also available as an e-book or paperback. Jesus' Determination to Complete His Task Third, Jesus said, "I thirst" to strengthen himself and ease his throat so that he might cry out his final words from the cross "with a loud voice. Father, extreme thirst, being parched, is something I can relate to.
But adding to the physical torment and exhaustion was the crushing spiritual aloneness. Individual persons thirst for love, for a sense of belonging , for caring families, for the support of friends in times of suffering, trial, failure, and distress. Those who have realized that they have hurt others thirst for forgiveness and reconciliation. When can I go and meet with God.
The poor thirst for food, shelter, and work to have a means to fulfill their basic needs; women thirst for equal dignity, opportunity, and safety from predators; prisoners thirst for freedom and the opportunity to live better lives. In our society today, we thirst for the rebuilding of our moral fiber as a people which has been eroded in the last two years. We thirst for justice for the tokhang victims, for the unjustly arrested, for the falsely accused. We thirst for the return of the rule of law which has been violated with impunity by those who are supposed to uphold it in all branches of the government — executive, legislative and judicial.
We thirst for honesty that has been replaced by systemic corruption in all levels of society, scams, cover ups. We thirst for our lost dignity and civility amid a toxic environment of crudeness, disrespect, misogyny.
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An activist nun, she holds a doctorate in philosophy, summa cum laude, from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Paul's Audiovisuals.
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