I have been to many Easter Sunrise services, but last week I attended an early morning Good Friday service for the first time in my life. It was impactful to hear that because of the time difference between our location and Jerusalem, our service corresponded with the exact time of day Jesus took His last breath as He hung on the cross. The service focused on the last seven statements Jesus spoke on the cross as recorded in the Gospels, particularly the shortest and simplest of His words, “I thirst.”
THINGS COULDN'T GET ANY WORSE
Consider the simplicity and the depth of these two words. Being thirsty is something we have all experienced. We can understand what it is like, though perhaps not at the level of dehydration Jesus was experiencing. Did you ever ask why Jesus said that?
When you consider all the beatings, sleep deprivation, and the horrors of the cross, it is amazing Jesus would pay attention to His thirst, much less mention it. The pain from the crown of thorns and the spikes driven through His hands and feet would seem to be a bigger deal than His thirst. Having to push Himself up to breathe or speak, raking His wounded back on the wooden cross each time, seems like being thirsty would be inconsequential. Either the thirst was so great that Jesus felt like His parched lips and throat had to have a drink, or maybe it was just an example of how sometimes small things can be magnified in our lives. Whatever the case, Jesus had a deep, profound need for a drink.
THEN THEY DO
Imagine the cruelty of the drink Jesus was offered. He was dying and suffering incredible pain, and all He wanted was to wet His mouth with some water. Jesus saw the drink coming toward Him and opened His mouth in great anticipation, only to taste sour, distasteful, nauseating wine. This is like being kicked while we're down. You think things can’t get any worse, and then they do.
IT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU
The words, “I thirst,” may seem to be the most mundane words Jesus spoke from the cross, the ones with the least meaning. Maybe it is in the Bible to remind us of the humanity of Jesus, but consider this: The next time you have a day that just can’t get any worse, yet does, I hope you will remember these two words. Jesus has been where you are. He understands what you are going through. He won a victory over your circumstances, and you can share in that victory. Most importantly, don't forget that as Jesus breathed His last breath, He also said,
It is finished.
by Jimmy Aycock