The Fifth Saying
“After this, Jesus knowing that all things
were now accomplished, that the scripture
might be fulfilled, saith, “I thirst.”
It is hard to imagine that the Maker of heaven and earth once cried out with parched lips, “I thirst.” But all this was according to Scripture being fulfilled as per Psalm 69:21. By His cry of thirst Jesus identified Himself with true humanity. How God can become man and still retain all the elements of deity is a Divine mystery. That God did become man, is our faith. Other religious bodies, such as the Unitarians, or modern day liberals, do not believe that God became man.
There is a wonderful story associated with the great English preacher of last century, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. One day Mr. Spurgeon was invited to speak at a Unitarian church. “We want you to come as a guest, Mr. Spurgeon,” said the pulpit committee, “but we do not want you to be controversial over the deity of Christ.”
With a smile Mr. Spurgeon agreed to preach without being controversial. And so he choose as his text 1 Timothy 3:16 with says: “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up into glory.”
It is interesting that today, a great debate still rages over the Deity of Christ in some places. In the first century, the great debate was over the humanity of Christ. 1 John was written in part to combat the heresy of Gnosticism which denied that Jesus had come in the flesh. People were willing to believe in the divinity of Christ but not his humanity which forced John to write that anyone, “who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an anti-Christ” (2 John 1:7).
The cry of Christ from the Cross of Calvary reminds us that God has come in the flesh and identified Himself with the sufferings of man. However, it was no ordinary cry of thirst which Christ uttered for it was said after He had screamed out, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTANI? that is to say, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
There was a terrible time when Christ was forsaken by His Father as He had never been forsaken before. His soul was dried up so that with the Psalmist He would lament, “My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God!”
Still, in the thirsting of His soul and body, Christ submitted to the Father’s will. Do you not think that He who once turned water into wine could not have spoken the word of power and met His own need? But Jesus never once performed a miracle for His own pleasure or comfort. He only did that which pleased the Father and Isaiah tells us that it pleased the Father to bruise His Son in order to accomplish the great work of redemption and bring many other sons into glory.
There is something else in the thirst of Christ. The Lord’s cry of thirst typifies a universal need all over the world. Men everywhere are crying out, “I thirst.”
Wealth has not quenched the spiritual thirsting of the soul. Neither has honor, pleasure, or worldly wisdom. There is something in man unsatisfied. He drinks deeply and continually at the wells of this world. But whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again (John 4:13). What shall the thirsty soul do? The gospel answer is to come to Christ and drink of the living water. Jesus said, “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.” John 4:14
Believing these words, one person did come to Christ and wrote,
“I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary, and worn, and sad;
I found in Him a resting place,
And He has made me glad”.
Jesus became thirsty for us in order to quench our spiritual thirst. No one has to go to the eternal state and be with the rich man who is still crying out today, “Father Abraham, have mercy, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame” (Luke 16:24).
Come to Christ for there is a spiritual sense in which Jesus is still thirsty today. He is thirsty for fellowship with you and with me according to Revelation 3:20. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Jesus will sup with us. He will eat and drink with us as we come to Him in faith and the fellowship will quench the thirsting of His soul.
The Sixth Saying
“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, “
It is finished”: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”
From the Cross of Calvary came the cries of Christ. There was the cry of lamentation when He said, “I thirst.” There was the cry of desolation when He screamed, “My God, my God why hast Thou forsaken me?” Finally, there was the cry of victory when the Lord said with a loud voice, “IT IS FINISHED!”
Several things were finished at Calvary. First the prophecies concerning His personage were finished. It was said that the Messiah should be of the woman’s seed (Gen. 3:15) and Galatians 4:14 says that He was “born of a woman.” It was said that His mother was to be a virgin (Isa. 7:14 cf. Matt. 1:18). He was to be of the seed of Abraham (Gen. 22:18 cf. Matt. 1:1). The Messiah was to be a descendant of David (2 Sam. 7:12, 13) and He was (Rom. 1:3).
These prophecies and many more concerning His birth, His life, and His public ministry were fulfilled as were all the prediction concerning His death. He was to be despised (Isa. 53:3), rejected of men (Isa. 8:14), and hated without a cause (Psa. 69:4). Because all of the prophetic words were fulfilled, Jesus cried, “IT IS FINISHED!”
Second, the cry of Christ signified that His suffering was finished.
“The Head that once was crowned with thorns,
is crowned with glory now;
A royal diadem adorns the mighty Victor’s brow.
The highest place that Heaven affords is His by Sovereign right,
The King of kings and Lord of lords,
and Heaven’s eternal Light.
The Joy of all who dwell above,
the Joy of all below,
To whom He manifests His love,
and grants His name to know.”
Third, the cry, “IT IS FINISHED!” refers to the end of all the types and shadows found in the Old Testament. A.W. Pink comments. “A covering from sin and its shame—typified by the coats of skin with which the Lord clothed our first parents— was now provided. The more excellent sacrifice—typified by Abel’s lamb—had now been offered. A shelter from the storm of Divine judgment—typified by the ark of Noah was now finished. The only begotten and well beloved Son—typified by Abraham’s offering up Isaac–had already been placed upon the altar.
A protection from the Avenging Angel-typified by the shed blood of the Passover lamb was now supplied. A cure from the Serpent’s bite-typified by the serpent of brass upon the pole-was now made ready for sinners. The providing of a life giving fountain-typified by Moses striking the rock-was now effected. “IT IS ALL FINISHED!” The great atoning work was accomplished, not in shadows, but in substance; not in theory but in reality so that Christ and His finished work is the ground of all our hopes.”
“Upon a Life I did not live,
Upon a Death I did not die,
Another’s death-Another’s life
I cast my soul eternally.
Bold shall I stand in that great day,
For who, aught to my charge can lay?
Fully absolved by Christ I am,
From sin’s tremendous curse and blame.”
“IT IS FINISHED!”
With the finished work of Christ came the end of the Law.
“For Christ is the end of the law
for righteousness to every
one that believeth.”
The Seventh Saying
“And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said,
“Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit,”
and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.”
Seven times the Savior spoke from the Cross. Three times He uttered things concerning men. To one He gave a promise of Paradise. To another He confided His mother. To the spectators He announced His thirst. Three of the Lord’s utterances were addressed to God: He prayed for His murderers to be forgiven, He shared His feelings of desertion, and now He commends His spirit. Once, in the hearing of God and men, angels and devils, He spoke out crying, “IT IS FINISHED!”
By commending His soul back to the Father, the Lord announced that fellowship was restored. Jesus was still loved by the Father. He was still wanted by the Father, and so to the Father He would go. The Father of Christ is also our Father for so Jesus taught us when He taught us to pray and to say together,
“Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,