I Thirst

Jesus uttered seven phrases from the Cross. “I thirst” is unique to John’s gospel. As I studied this phrase in the context of John’s particular gospel account, it came alive. John’s gospel was written with a clear two-pronged thesis: to show that Jesus Christ was God and to offer the readers eternal life through Him. As such, John’s gospel doesn’t begin with a birth account, but places Jesus as co-eternal with the Father “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God (John 1:1).” Likewise, the powerful “I am” statements are found in the book of John, further proclamations of His Deity.

Jesus often associates Himself with springs of living water throughout John’s gospel, beginning with semi-cryptic conversations with Nicodemus by night and the Samaritan women by day. On the last day of the feast of booths, Jesus declares publicly, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’.” John 7:37-38. 

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With that backdrop in mind, Jesus cry of “I thirst” from the Cross takes on profound meaning. The One who literally had rivers of eternal life gushing and rushing through Him from eternity past became drought and depression and death. He did this unthinkable act to offer to His parched, petulant people rivers of life they had willingly left for broken cisterns.

As Lent wraps up and we approach the Cross of Christ, may we know what it cost Him that we should drink freely from the fountain. May we drink deeply the free love of God through Christ, and as such, may we offer cups of water to a parched world.

I Thirst

Lips that spoke oceans vast,
Cracked, clamoring for a drip.
The fountain of living water,
Desperate for a single sip. 

The mouth that freely offered
An eternally flowing spring,
Being offered sarcastically 
Malt vinegar to cut the sting. 

More thirsty was He to honor
The Father by bringing us home,
Than to have His pain assuaged 
Leaving us in our sin to roam. 

His soul and body’s thirsting
Opened the heavenly stream;
His nightmare on that Cross
Secured for us Abba’s dream.

May we now pant for You,
As deer for fresh waters.
Make us fit to live on earth
As your sons and daughters.

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