After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.”

John 19: 28

Reading: Psalm 69; Psalm 22; Psalm 63; Psalm 42

He has been hanging in excruciating pain for nearly three hours now, and the end is near. Jesus says these poignant words "I am thirsty." What was Jesus thirsting for? 

Certainly for something simply to wet his parched lips, his gritty mouth, his dry throat. That’s obvious. He was suffering from extreme dehydration. They offer him sour wine, vinegar, and he has just a moment of relief.

John says that Jesus' main reason for saying "I thirst" was in order to fulfill 'the scripture'. Which scripture?

It could have been Psalm 69, which is in our reading for today:

Save me, O God...
I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God....
Do not hide your face from your servant, for I am in distress—make haste to answer me.
Draw near to me, redeem me, set me free because of my enemies....
They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink....
Or it could have been Psalm 22, another one of our readings for today:
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death..
Maybe it was Psalm 63:


O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.


Or perhaps Psalm 42:



As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?



Of course Jesus was thirsting for liquid, for something to relieve the agony..that's only natural, he was fully human, after all. But as we examine the Scriptures that John could possibly have been referring to, we see that Jesus' thirst ran much deeper - and this is a subject we'll continue to pursue in tomorrow's devotion.


Thank you for granting me this month of meditation on your suffering Lord. Open my eyes to see what you want me to see.

For the family

Continue this 15-day devotional study about Easter that is suitable for children.