John 19:28-29 (ESV)
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth.
He was thirsty on the cross and he accepted the drink offered to him. Two drinks were offered to Jesus. One, in Mark 15:23, sour wine mixed with myrrh to dull the pain which he did not accept. Two, In John 19:28-29 he accepts the other drink which was meant purely to satisfy his parched throat.
Jesus has been thirsty before. He asked the Samaritan woman for water. However, he turned his thirst into a conversation about quenching her spiritual thirst with living waters.
Two reminders for today.
One, Jesus turned his thirst into quenching the spiritual thirst of the woman. Here too we can, by way of extension, turn his thirst into quenching the spiritual and emotional longings of people. In Matthew 5:6, he says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
When you walk up the stairs of the Mother Teresa ashram in Kolkata you cannot but notice Jesus hanging on the cross and painted on the wall beside the crucifix are the words – I Thirst – in bold. It is interesting to hear Mother Teresa’s explanation, “They serve as a constant reminder of the purpose of the Missionaries of Charity. They remind us what a Missionary of Charity is here for: to quench the thirst of Jesus for souls, for love, for kindness, for compassion, for delicate love.” There are many people out there to whom Jesus would make a world of a difference.
Two, we would have run to Jesus with something to quench his thirst on the cross. Today we have the opportunity to go out and meet the physical needs of people around us. This is not something strange, Jesus talks about this in Matthew 25:35. He wants us to see him in the sufferings of others and lend them a helping hand.
Dear Lord, help us to take the rest we have found in You to restless hearts all around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.