Craving on the Cross :: I thirst


Jesus’ fifth saying from the Cross, which is “I thirst” has often been expanded as one which was the result of his physical needs for being quenched due to dehydration or metaphorically as one in which Jesus thirsted for the souls of those lost and those who had not yet placed their trust in him.

Points to ponder:
The dictionary defines the word “thirst” as a strong or eager desire or craving. How could the one who is the very source of living waters thirst? I would like to believe that Jesus strongly desired or craved for the restoration of mankind unto God, which was the mission he had come to accomplish and having known that all things he had come to accomplish was accomplished, in order to fulfill the scripture, he cried out, I thirst (John 19:28). In other words, Jesus strongly craved for your and me on the Cross.

In a world that is lonely and desolate, we can take solace in the fact, that Jesus craves and desires to be in a relationship with us. The question that begs to be answered to then is “Do you have a strong and eager desire to be in relationship with God?” “Do you crave for Jesus?”

John 19:28 (KJV)
28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst

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I thirst


Jesus’ fifth saying on the Cross was an expression of his need (not want). To thirst is to yearn for a drink. Imagine you are in a desert and you are parched… You would give anything to have a drop of water.

In this fifth saying, Jesus’ thirst could have been a mere expression of his physical thirst after enduring the scourging, stripping and crucifixion. Servants of God, including I (the least of the servants), have exposited on this saying and attempted to explain what Jesus could have meant by this curt expression. One explanation is the yearning of Christ for the souls of men, which is substantiated by the verse that God desires (longs for) all men to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

As I meditated on this and pondered, I wondered, Jesus had drunk the cup of God’s wrath (Matthew 26:39), so what did he thirst for? Jesus had told the woman at the well, that the Holy Spirit of God was the living water (John 7:39), whom he could pour into her life so that she would never thirst again (John 4:13-14). Now he himself was thirsty. Was it because his own Holy Spirit could not be with him in his earthly form for he had become sin (2 Corinthians 5:21)? He expressed that he was forsaken by God, and he cried out My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? Was the first address of My God, to God the Father and the second address of my God, to God the Holy Spirit – both the personas of God who were not with Christ Jesus (God the Son). I can only imagine. The more I pondered, the more I realized that Jesus’ thirst is likely for his own Holy Spirit – so that he would never have to thirst again. We know that his Holy Spirit responded to his yearning cry, for Jesus’ last act on the Cross was to commend his Holy Spirit into the Holy hands of God the Father.

Points to ponder:
Do we yearn for the Holy Spirit of God to indwell in us, so that we may never thirst again? Does our soul long for God as a deer pants for water, yearning and crying out to God, “I thirst for God” as he thirsted for us on the Cross. Jesus said, “I thirst” and expects you and me to do the same for him.

John 19:28 (KJV)
28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

John 4:13-14 (KJV)
13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Cross Verbs – Calling to Action :: 5th saying from the Cross


This is the 5th post of the series, Cross Verbs >> Calling to Action, which is a look at the 7 sayings of Jesus Christ from the Cross, with an “action” perspective, for faith without action is dead (James 2:17). What is of note is that each saying has a verb in it, implying an action of Jesus Christ, the Lord, and what’s more, is that his action calls for our action.

Saying Five: “I thirst.
The Cross verb today is “thirst”.

It is no surprise that Jesus physically thirsted after all the agony of torture and the crucifixion that he had endured, but we must be careful to not merely overlook this as just an expression. The Bible records that Jesus expressed his thirst as a way to show that all scripture (prophecy) had to be fulfilled (John 19:28). Jesus’ thirst was to fulfill God’s will in his life. Furthermore, isn’t it ironic to notice, that the one from whom could flow the living waters was now needing to be quenched? The Bible records the Holy Spirit of God to be the living waters that flow from the one who believes in Jesus (John 7:38-39). When Jesus became sin on the Cross (2 Corinthians 5:21), the Holy Spirit of God, that had descended upon him in his baptism, could no longer reside with Christ, for what communion can holiness (righteousness) have with sin (unrighteousness), or light with darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14). So in a spiritual sense, it is extremely likely that Jesus thirsted for the companionship and comfort of the Holy Spirit of God, when he was God forsaken – Father and Holy Spirit forsaken.

Points to ponder:
The Cross verb “thirst” calls us to action – to thirst to fulfill the will and purpose of God, in the physical elements of our life, but more importantly, it is imperative for us to always have a thirst for the Holy Spirit of God. When we sin, God’s Spirit cannot indwell in our lives (1 Samuel 16:14) and our lives can be deemed Ichabod (1 Samuel 4:21). So like David, we need to repent and thirst for a clean heart and God’s right(eous) Spirit within us (Psalm 51:10).
Jesus thirsted so we can thirst. God’s thirst calls for us to thirst. Are you thirsty?

Prayer: Lord, because of my sin, do not forsake  me Lord, for your love is unfailing, your grace indescribable and your mercy unending and enduring. Let me thirst, not just physically, but let me thirst to be renewed by Holy Spirit, so that you are my companionship and comfort constantly.  Lord, let me thirst … as the deer pants for water 

John 19:28 (KJV)
28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

Quenched :: I thirst


Jesus’ fifth saying from the Cross is recorded in the gospel according to apostle John in chapter 19 verse 28. It reads, “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

While some have exposited on this saying of Christ, “I thirst” as a literal expression of Jesus’ physical human thirst, others have expressed this as a symbolic expression of his spiritual thirst longing for the many souls he came to redeem; both of which are certainly plausible. Furthermore, some have pressed on to state that this is an expression of his longing for his reunion with God his Father, from whom he had felt forsaken which he expressed in his question to God in his fourth saying from the Cross.

Yet as I pondered over this saying, I felt led by the Holy Spirit, that another revelation of his living Word convicts me to believe that the God who thirsted on the Cross, thirsted so that you and I would not have to thirst anymore. Jesus told the Samaritan woman that whoever drinks of the water that he shall give shall never thirst; but the water that he shall give, shall be in that person a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:14).

Points to ponder:
Jesus thirsted so that you and I need not thirst anymore. Are you thirsty or are you quenched? If you are thirsty, come to Jesus who thirsted for you and me. Come and receive the living water that he gives – so that we may never thirst again. If you have already come and are quenched, then let the refreshing and rejuvenating water of the Holy Spirit within renew your heart and become in you a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

John 19:28 (KJV)
28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

John 4:19 (KJV)
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Let’s talk business :: From the Cross – 5th Saying


When Jesus was twelve years old, he questioned, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49) and on his crucifixion, he spoke seven sayings that are often expanded upon on Good Friday services, all over the world. This series, ‘Let’s talk business’ is a look at the seven sayings of Jesus Christ from the Cross, from a business perspective. Today we shall look at the fifth saying from the Cross, “I thirst” as recorded in John 19:28.

According to BusinessDictionary.com, the term “demand” has got three definitions. In commerce, it is the claim for a sum of wages as due, required or necessary. In economics, it is the desire for certain goods or service supported by the capacity to purchase it and in law, it is an assertion of a legal right.

When Jesus said, “I thirst”, from the vantage point of his physical needs, it is likely that he merely expressed the need for water, which is critical for life. However, deeper scrutiny of the text reveals that he said, I thirst so that the scripture may be fulfilled and this leads us to learn that this saying has a far greater undercurrent than a mere expression of physical need. Moreover, have you ever wondered why the very one who is the source of living water, thirst merely for the waters he created in order to live. Jesus knew that He, the Son of God, had come to give is life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45), and his goal was not to survive the cross, but to lay down his life (1 John 3:16) and in doing so, he paid the ransom and made the purchase of our lives/soul with his blood (Acts 20:28), therefore claiming the totality (sum) of our life, desiring our soul and asserting his lawful right over us (1 Corinthians 6:20).

Points to ponder:
We were bought with the blood of Jesus and so he demands (thirsts for) our life in return, commercially claiming it, economically desiring it and lawfully asserting it. In business terms, the Scripture, that God does not want anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9) comes closer to fulfilment when you believe in response to Jesus’ demand (thirst).  Have you/I given our lives in total and believed in him by faith?

John 19:28 (KJV)
28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

Acts 20:28 (KJV)
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

1 Corinthians 6:20 (KJV)
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 

I thirst


Jesus’ fifth saying from the Cross, which is “I thirst” has often been expanded as one which was the result of his physical needs for being quenched due to dehydration or metaphorically as one in which Jesus thirsted for the souls of those lost and those who had not yet placed their trust in him. But as I pondered on this saying, I wondered if there is the possibility of another dimension to this saying.

Jesus communed with God the Father, periodically while he was in his ministry.  But now with Him taking the sins of the world upon Himself, that communion (relationship) with God was severed because God is a Holy and just God and can have nothing to do with darkness (sin). It is probable that Jesus’ thirsted/yearned/longed for the communion he had with God the Father.

Points to ponder:
Do you thirst for having communion with God/Jesus?

I thirst


The fifth saying of Jesus as He hung on the Cross, living up to His Name, which was to save His people from their sins was a request in which Jesus expressed a need. His saying was ‘I thirst’ (John 19:28). Though cursorily it may seem like an expression of his physical condition, is there more to this than what is evident.

One of the dictionary definitions of the word, ‘thirst’ is an ardent desire, craving or longing. Interestingly, one can go without food for days, but not without water. Thirst is a physical condition that can bring the strongest of the strong to their knees, some even to the point of death. Samson the strong after killing a thousand warriors in battle cried to the Lord when he felt thirsty, questioning, now shall I die of thirst? (Judges 15:18-20). The grumbling Israelite pilgrims questioned Moses, if he had led them out of Egypt to kill them and their children and cattle with thirst (Exodus 17:3). When no water in the desert of Beersheba was found, Hagar, unable to bear the possibility of her son, Ishmael dying of thirst, goes a bow shot length away until God miraculous opens her eyes and she sees a well (Genesis 21:14-16). So thirst can make the strong weak, and the living dead.

And here we hear Jesus saying that He thirsted. Why did Jesus say that he thirsted?

The logical human explanation was that He experienced a human physical condition and that is certainly plausible. Jesus hungered (Matthew 4:2), slept (Mark 4:38), grew (Luke 2:42), groaned (John 11:33), wept (John 11:35) and so in his Humanity also thirsted (John 19:28). Now if this was merely a personal physical need to be satisfied, isn’t it interesting that Jesus only asks for being quenched after he accomplished all the things He knew He had to fulfill (John 19:28). Jesus’ personal needs came only after doing what God wanted Him to do. He satisfied God before He prayed to be satisfied himself. We must have the same attitude as well.

But the scripture gives us evidence that there is more. Jesus said, ‘I thirst’ so that the scripture may be fulfilled (John 19:28). Jesus came to fulfill the scripture and fulfilled it (Psalm 69:21). Jesus, who knew no sin was made sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21) and the imputation of our sins on Him made him experience a separation from God the Holy Father as expressed by the prophet Isaiah who said “… your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2) . So Jesus’ relationship with God the Father had been broken because of our sins. This is further substantiated by the fact that Jesus addressed God, in His previous saying as My God, my God (Eloi, Eloi) and not as Father (which is how He addressed God in the first saying from the Cross). Jesus very well could have thirsted for the oneness He had with God the Father (John 10:30). Another explanation as to why Jesus thirsted is that he experienced the thirst of hell. Acts 2:27 and 31 are very explicit that God would not let soul of his Holy  One (Jesus) in hell.  In Matthew 12:40, we hear Jesus saying that “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly: so shall the Son of man (Jesus) be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. ” Revelation refers to hell as the bottomless pit or abyss (Revelation 9:1-2). Ephesians 4:9 tells us that Jesus ascended into heavens, but that he also first descended into the lower parts (heart) of the earth.

So Jesus descended down to hell on our account, but what is the state of affairs in hell? An overbearing need to be quenched. We see this in the parable that Jesus told about Lazarus and the rich man. The rich man died and was buried and in hell he was tormented by thirst. (Luke 16:19-31). So it is not implausible that when Jesus’ soul descended to hell, he thirsted as well.

But in hell, the thirst that is to be quenched is not physical as the rich man describes but more in the spiritual realms. Jesus spiritually thirsted that his desire to bring many sons unto glory be quenched (Hebrews 2:10); that all are saved and none perish (2 Peter 3:9); that God’s eternal wrath would now be quenched as he accomplishes his task of saving all men and women in totality and that all will drink of Him (Jesus) and receive from Him living water (the Holy Spirit – John 7:38-39) so that they will no longer be thirsty.

Finally, when the curtain falls, we can find ourselves in only one of two states – eternally thirsty or eternally quenched and this depends on whether we agree to drink of (believe) Him, Jesus Christ, who with a craving, a longing and an ardent desire said, ‘I thirst’ [for you].