Knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”
In this statement Jesus expressed a need so human that anyone could have said it: “I am thirsty.”
Of all the needs of the human body, water is one of the most basic. More than 60 percent of the human body is water! As we become dehydrated, our blood vessels and other cells literally begin to dry up.
By the time Jesus spoke these words from the cross, he had already been hanging there for more than six hours, and his body was becoming parched. Foreshadowing this moment, Psalm 22:15 says, “My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.”
A bruised, beaten man nailed to a cross and murmuring through cracked lips, “I am thirsty,” is not what most of us picture when we think of God. But these details remind us of a great truth. At the center of the Christian faith is not a remote and distant God who lives beyond human pain. At the core of our faith is a person who is not only fully divine but is also fully human— indeed, human enough to be thirsty.
“I am thirsty.” These words remind us that “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).
O God, when I think you don’t understand my hardships and pain, remind me again that Jesus took on human flesh, became one of us, and suffered in our place. Thank you that he knows all about being human. Amen.
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