Scripture Reading — John 19:28-30
Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” — John 19:28
After hours of suffering on the cross, Jesus said he was thirsty. Imagine the extreme pain he felt with the crown of thorns on his head and the nails through his hands and feet. He would have had terrible cramping, agonizing jolts of pain when he tried to move, and shortness of breath.
Why did Jesus suffer this way? First, he suffered because he had come to save us by dying in our place. Second, he came to fulfill what was written—“so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.” (See, for example, Psalm 22:1, 7-8, 14-18.)
A Korean monk lived inside metal fences for 10 years and ate only pine-needle powder and rice flour. It is also said that for eight years he never lay down but slept while sitting.
Many people respected his self-discipline, but on his deathbed he said: “Since I have deceived so many in my lifetime, my iniquities have filled the sky and overflowed Mount Meru. Now I fall into hell alive, and there are tens of thousands of strands of regret.” The monk had learned that he could not atone for his own sins, and, sadly, he did not know Jesus.
Jesus is the only one who can give us eternal life. He came to suffer and die in our place, taking on himself all the punishment for our sins, because only he could bear it. He endured thirst so that we can have living water. By his wounds and suffering we are healed and reconciled with God, who loves us.
What a Savior!
Father, thank you for sending your Son to save us and give us eternal life. In his name we pray. Amen.