The Yearning Christ :: I thirst

Each of the seven sayings from the Cross gives us a glimpse into the nature of Jesus Christ. In the fifth saying, Jesus shows us that he is the Yearning Christ when he said, “I thirst”.

While this saying can be studied to understand and express the humanity of Jesus, which makes it possible for God to empathize with us (Hebrews 4:15), for Jesus, like each one of us, felt weary (John 4:6), sleepy (Mark 4:38), hungry (Matthew 4:2), and expressed human emotions such as grief by his weeping (John 11:35; Luke 19:41) and sorrow (Mark 14:34; Matthew 26:38), closer reading of this Bible scripture reveals to us that this saying was a fulfillment of prophecy. A prophecy that particularly references to messianic Psalms, which king David records in Psalm 22 and Psalm 69. Psalm 22:15 states that the Messiah’s strength would be dried up like sunbaked clay and his tongue would stick to the roof of his mouth, as one would experience in extreme dehydration and thirst. Psalm 69:3 records how the Messiah’s throat will be dried and Psalm 69:21 records how he will be offered gall and vinegar to drink, which was fulfilled on the Cross (Matthew 27:34), further establishing that Jesus is the Messiah who was prophesied in the scripture.

Knowing that all things were now accomplished (John 19:28), it would have been apt for Jesus to have said “It is finished” (John 19:30), but instead, he did not want any scripture to go unfulfilled and so he aptly said “I thirst”.

When he was offered vinegar mixed with gall to quench his thirst, Jesus refused to take it (Matthew 27:34), which further establishes that it was not necessarily his physical thirst that he was interested in satisfying but his spiritual thirst. Hours ago, in deep anguish, alone in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus had cried out, asking for the cup of God’s justice to be passed from him, but as the obedient Son of God and Savior of all man, he willingly accepted to drink the cup of God’s justice (Mark 14:36; Matthew 26:39) by submitting to the will of God (Isaiah 53:10). And now here on the Cross, he expresses that after knowing that he had accomplished all things, he was thirsty and yearning to drink from the cup of God, to the dregs.

Points to ponder:

Jesus yearns to fulfill the scripture and to fulfill the will of God.  Jesus is the yearning Christ.
The wearied Savior offers to all who come to him that they shall find rest; eternal rest (Matthew 11:28-29) and those who are hungry and thirsty shall hunger and thirst no more i.e., they will be eternally satisfied (John 6:35), for the water he gives will be in that person a well of water springing unto everlasting life (John 4:14).

Have you drunk of the water Jesus gives? Is your spiritual thirst quenched? In other words, have you come to Jesus and believed in him? And if you have been spiritually quenched, like Jesus, are you and I yearning for doing and finishing God’s will? Can you, like the Savior, Lord and Messiah, Jesus, say “I thirst”?

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

The Forsaken Fulfilling Christ :: Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?

Each of the seven sayings from the Cross gives us a glimpse into the nature of Jesus Christ. In the fourth saying, Jesus, diverts the attention of the hearer to a question, actually a cry of anguish, between him and God his Father. He cried out with a loud voice, saying Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which when interpreted means “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? This question reflects that Jesus is the forsaken Christ.

Not only is Jesus the forsaken Christ, but he is the fulfilling Christ as well. Centuries earlier, David, the king of Israel, had prophetically expressed this in a song, talking about the Messiah, who will be forsaken by God (Psalm 22:1-2), scorned and mocked (Psalm 22:7), who will be poured out as water (Psalm 22:14; John 19:34), whose hands and feet will be pierced (Psalm 22:16), who will thirst (Psalm 22; John 19:28), who will be stripped naked and his garments will be parted (Psalm 22:18), and who will not despise nor abhor the affliction of the afflicted (Psalm 22:24) accepting the will of God (Matthew 26:39, 42) and take on our affliction upon himself (1 Peter 2:24), who would cry out to the God (Psalm 22:24), who will bring about everlasting life (Psalm 22:26; John 3:16), and whose kingdom of righteousness will be established henceforth (Psalm 22:27-31). Jesus being forsaken and crying out his Father is a fulfillment of the messianic prophecy, sung by David. Jesus is the fulfilling Messiah.

The Savior, Jesus Christ, who had promised his disciples that he would never forsake them (Hebrews 13:5) was now forsaken. This question can be attributed to the fact that God the Father, the One and only Holy God (1 Samuel 2:2) can have no communion with unrighteousness as light cannot have any communion with darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14). When light shines darkness dispels – darkness cannot coexist with light – they are mutually exclusive. All unrighteousness is sin (1 John 5:17; 1 John 1:9). And Jesus, who knew no sin had become sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21) which severed the communion he had with God, his Holy Father (John 17:11), who hates sin (Proverbs 6:16-19). The wages and end result of sin is death (Romans 6:23; James 1:15) and God created man to be a living soul (Genesis 2:7), not a dead being. So Jesus’ emotion being forsaken is indeed a reflection of his and his Father’s love for us –  a love so great – that God felt justified to forsake his own son, so he would not have to forsake us (Romans 5:8). God forsook God so he would not have to forsake us. 

This further accentuates that God hates sin, but not the sinner. We are not sinners because we sin. Instead, we sin because we are sinners – having inherited the sinful nature, because of our forefather Adam’s willful disobedience and sin (Romans 5:14). In order to denature our sin nature and create in us a clean heart (Psalm 51:10), a heart that can live forever (Psalm 22:26), and make us a new righteous creation (2 Corinthians 5:17, 21), Jesus had to denature his Holiness and was made sin (2 Corinthians 5:21) and be forsaken from his Father.

Points to ponder:

Jesus is the forsaken and fulfilling Christ. He is the Messiah – the one and only Messiah.
Had Jesus not have the need to cry out, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? then the world today would be crying out that same question – “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?”
You and I are not forsaken by God! and Jesus has promised that he will never leave us not forsake us.

Mark 15:34 (KJV)
34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Psalm 22:1-2 (KJV)
1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.