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Friday: Distress

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We will be posting a series of devotionals for the 7 days of Holy Week, leading up to Resurrection Sunday. Each is a reflection on one of the seven sayings of Jesus on the cross.

 

After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst” (John 19:28).

 

Observations:

Jesus was fully human

Jesus is the Messiah

The Word of the Lord remains forever

 

All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever. (1 Peter 1:30)

 

With one of His last breaths, Jesus cried out in thirst, His very human body nearly spent after enduring hours of unspeakable torture. His flesh that was like ours, was passing away, dried up like the thirsty grass withering under an unrelenting sun. But the Scripture, the Word of the Lord, would endure. It would be fulfilled even at this darkest moment in history. By saying, “I thirst”, Jesus affirmed both the frailty of his own human flesh as well as the enduring power of the Word of God as Scripture was being fulfilled in Him.

. . . so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (
Isaiah 55:11)

 

Psalm 69 describes a distressed and persecuted person, surrounded by enemies, and weary to the point of death. Abandoned by all comforters he is given only poison for food and sour wine to drink.

I am weary with my crying out;

my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim
    with waiting for my God.

. . . and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink. (Ps 69:3, 21)

 

As it points to the Messiah, portions of this Psalm are fulfilled only in Jesus, the Suffering Servant who bore our griefs and carried our sorrows. His physical body was literally “poured out for many” as He hung there bleeding on the cross. Abandoned by His friends, with the Father’s face turned away, Jesus was alone. Like the psalmist He was weary, parched, with eyes growing dim. He was offered no aid but the bitter taste of sour wine with which He mustered His last bit of strength to boldly declare, “It is finished!” before giving up His spirit.

Applications

Because Jesus had a human body He can sympathize with our weaknesses

Jesus’ thirst shows us that He lived His life on earth in a body like yours and mine. He understands the physical, emotional, and spiritual trials we face in this life because He experienced them.

Since only Jesus fulfilled all the Messianic prophesies, only He can save us

Jesus is God’s plan of redemption for all of creation. Having fulfilled all of the prophesies, He is the Messiah . . .  the chosen one who would come to set us free! No one can be made right with God apart from Him.

Because His words always come to pass we can know that God’s Word is trustworthy

Down to the smallest detail about what Jesus would be offered to drink on the cross, God’s Words are His actions. He always follows through on His promises! We can trust Him in even the darkest of circumstances.