Jesus , knowing, said I am thirsty.
Water is an essential and scarce resource. Though 71% of the world is covered with water-only a smaller part is consumable/ potable for drinking. United Nations say that by 2025 that we will be facing water-based vulnerability-a water crisis.
Humans maybe able to live for days-without food (I am not one of them) but it will be critical and deadly-if a person has no water for just one day.
The human body is anywhere from 55% to 78% water depending on body size. To function properly, the body requires between one and seven liters of water per day to avoid dehydration; the precise amount depends on the level of activity, temperature, humidity, and other factors.
When I go walking on the hills of San Pedro, I never forget to bring a cask of water. I easily perspire and run out of water. And my body suffers for it.
When my kids were small –and sick , their doctors always prevent their dehydration by connecting to them through IV fluids.
Water is essential to human life.
Jesus when he asked for water –I am thirsty –expresses his solidarity with us. Under the Palestinian noonday sun- his body already tired and without sleep. His body drenched and losing blood because of the midnight whipping –is crying out for water.
It is expressed in
14 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;
15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
you lay me in the dust of death.
This natural, physical desire or craving for water-is also understood by the Roman soldiers-especially for those who are dying under the penalty of crucifixion. Some lasted for 3-4 days before dying. So they always prepare “A jar full of sour wine” and “so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth”.
But this is meant as an insult. He asked for water-and they gave him bitter wine-vinegar. A cheap wine usually used by a common soldier. For it is also said in the Scriptures that:
Psalm 69: 19-21
19 You know my reproach,
and my shame and my dishonor;
my foes are all known to you.
20 Reproaches have broken my heart,
so that I am in despair.
I looked for pity, but there was none,
and for comforters, but I found none.
21 They gave me poison for food,
and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.
But all of this is not something accidental to him –for it is said in John 19:28 “After this Jesus, realizing that by this time everything was completed”-or his mission here is being accomplished-He said “I am thirsty” to fulfill the Scriptures. It is deliberate.
Moslems and other cults believe that Jesus did not suffer in the cross and was replaced by a phantom, Judas or someone else at the crucial juncture. They cannot understand why a righteous man must suffer a criminal/ sinner’s punishment death. Usually Sayings 4-6 reflects the idea that Jesus suffered for the sins of the whole world-that is for others. This, the cults and Moslems, they cannot believe-and will not accept this portion of the Scriptures.
When I was not a Christian- I concluded that since the evidence for God is not conclusive that either there is no God or he does not really care fro this world and its inhabitants.
At the cross of Calvary -when Jesus was suffering the full wrath of God –the full anger of God I realized that there is a God-and he does care. He is willing to enter into it. Enter into it fully. And transform it. And transform it from tragedy to victory.
His act of asking for water is an expression of his humanity and the result of bearing the sins of the whole world and its eternal punishment.
Also, his act of asking for water reflects his thirst to fulfill his mission “knowing and realizing that by this time everything (related to his mission was completed)” that is to do the will of his Father-
In fact in order to utter or shout the second to the last of the seven words- he have to drink this bitter cup of sour wine or vinegar .
Also, for me I realized that in conformity to the Lordship of Jesus, our life must also be spent to do the will of our Father in heaven-even if it is the last drop of our energy on this earth.
After this Jesus, realizing that by this time everything was completed, said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty!”