The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross

The Fifth Saying Ė The Word of Suffering

By Wayne Reynolds, Pastor

The lesson this month comes from John 19:28, which states, "After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst." When Jesus said, "I thirst," he fulfilled the prophecy given in Psalm 69:21, "They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink."

Here we have proof that Jesus was indeed the "God-man." This one who hung on the cross was not a divine man, or a humanized God. He was the God-man. He was two men in one. Jesus was all God, and all man. When Jesus died on the cross, he broke down the middle wall of partition between the perfect God and sinful man. Jesus is and was the perfect representative of God because he is the Son of God: and the perfect representative of man because he is and was the son of man.

Jesus is God

Philippians 2:6 states concerning Jesus Christ, "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:" This verse makes it clear that Jesus Christ was equal to God before he was born of a virgin and came to the earth to pay the sin debt of fallen mankind.

John 1:1-5 states, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." Verse 1 declares that the Word was in the beginning. Who is the Word? We might think the Word is what is written down on a page, and that is partly correct. John 1:14 states that the Word is Jesus Christ, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

We understand by reading the previous verses that Jesus was with God in the beginning of this world, therefore we understand that Jesus did not begin when he was born of a virgin 2,000 years ago.

Revelation 1:8 states, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." This verse declares that Jesus is "the Almighty." Who is the Almighty? There are many verses that explain who the Almighty is. I will give only two.

Exodus 6:3 is a direct quote by God to Moses, "And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them." This verse reveals that God Almighty is Jehovah. Jesus is equal to his father, as stated in John 10:30, "I and my Father are one."

Isaiah 9:6 is a prophecy concerning the birth of Jesus Christ, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

Jesus Christ is God, and as God he is the perfect intermediary to represent God in our salvation.

Jesus is man

Jesus had journeyed with man; doing things that only a man can do.

Jesus was born a baby and "wrapped in swaddling clothes," Luke 2:7.

As a child, he "increased in wisdom and stature." Luke 2:52.

As a boy, Jesus "asked questions." Luke 2:46.

As a man he was "wearied" in body, John 4:6.

Jesus was "an hungered," Matt. 4:2.

Jesus "slept," Mark 4:38.

Jesus "marveled," Mark 6:6.

Jesus "wept," John 11:35.

Jesus "prayed," Mark 1:35.

Jesus "rejoiced," Luke 10:21.

Jesus was indeed a human being, God incarnate in the flesh, Phil 2:6-8. Jesus became flesh that he might win those of the flesh to Himself. No person will ever have the excuse, "Jesus just doesnít know my problems." Jesus knows everything about everybody, including the way we suffer. Actually Jesus knows our sufferings even better than we know them. Jesus sees everything; we only see a part of things.

Christ suffered in our place

Notice the intensity of Christís sufferings. Jesus underwent much suffering in the twenty-four hours before his crucifixion. He instituted the Lordís Supper, and went to the Garden of Gethsemane, where he prayed to his Father. Judas came with about 600 soldiers and betrayed him with a kiss. This mob led Christ away to a night of fierce interrogation and punishment. He was beaten and scourged, a crown of thorns was placed on His head, he was mockingly forced to wear a purple robe, led across Jerusalem twice, underwent more interrogations by two judges, both of whom said he was innocent. He was then taken to Golgotha, where he was nailed to the cross.

Can you imagine the pain of having a nail driven into your hands and feet? Jesus bore all this pain, yet never uttered a word. Then on the cross, Jesus hung in the burning sun for three hours, and then through three more hours of darkness, during which his Father forsook him. When all of this was accomplished, then Jesus cried, "I thirst."

How can we ever understand the saying, "I thirst"? Psalm 32:3-5 states, "When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. 4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah 5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.

In this prophetic Psalm, Jesus proclaims that he was silent upon the cross, and that he had no moisture whatever. Sometimes we get thirsty when we work or play for thirty minutes or one hour, but Christ had no moisture for about 24 hours.

God turned His back upon His Son. Jesus was empty of strength, but only in his body. Jesusí mind was as clear as it had ever been. Jesusí body was racked with pain, his heart was melted in the midst of his bowels, but his mind was not foggy, or in the least disturbed by the pain. This depicts the greatness of God, and the strength God alone has and can give to us.

Notice in John 19:28, "Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, ĎI thirstí." Jesus didnít say "I thirst" because he was thirsty, but because the scripture said that he should say it! Can you imagine the awesome power of God, which gave Christ such control over his stricken body that enabled him to utter no word of rebuke or condemnation to his accusers? It was only after men performed their worst that Jesus proclaimed, "I thirst." Jesus knew all things were now accomplished, and only one scripture yet remained to be fulfilled. Christ, in His clear and perfect mind, went through all the prophecies of the entire Bible, and knew that all things were accomplished, except Psalm 69:21. He had not yet been given anything to drink.

There was also a certain thing to drink. Jesus said, "I thirst," and God so moved in wicked, sinful man that they unknowingly fulfilled the prophecy given in Psalm 69:21, "They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink." It was no accident that Jesus was given vinegar to drink, but totally depraved man unwittingly gave Christ vinegar and so fulfilled the final scripture.

After Jesus had taken of the vinegar, he knew that all of the scriptures concerning his death had been fulfilled. I ask you, did Jesus die helplessly? Or was Jesus perfectly aware of everything taking place? Was Jesus still causing things to happen?

We can also see how Jesus depended upon His Father when he asked for a drink. Remember when God caused water to come from the jawbone of the ass to quench the thirst of Samson? God caused water to come from the rock, at the command of Moses. When Satan tempted Christ, he could have turned rocks into bread, but he refused to do so. It was not His Fatherís will that Jesus would now create water, or that Jesus might quench His own thirst. Jesus would depend upon his Father for this. Everything Jesus did was so his Father might be glorified, and not to satisfy his own lusts. So should it be with us.

When Jesus died on the cross, he paid every saved persons hell. A person who is saved, will never have to go through the torments of a fiery hell, because Jesus paid our hell. When Christ cried, "I thirst," he was paying a part of our hell, and all this upon Calvaryís cross, and not after he had given up the spirit. In John 4:14, Jesus told the woman at the well, "Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again, but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give Him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." Jesus cried "I thirst" and because of the power of God, saved people shall never thirst again, John 4:14.

Those that refuse to take the water of life that Christ offers, shall thirst through all eternity. Look at the rich man, as in hell he lifted up his eyes and asked for a drop of water so that his tongue might be cooled. He was in torment in the flames of hell. How great is his spiritual thirst? Notice that water was the first thing the rich man asked for.

If you die lost, you will go to that place of torment and there you will cry out for a drop of water to cool your tongue. But if you accept the free gift of living water from Christ, you will never thirst again. Jesus has already been thirsty for you. Trust in Him today.