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I Thirst!

Translated by Dr. Jerry Cai

John 19:28-30

"Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled,

Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the

sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the

drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. " (John


Apple Inc. has developed a series of Apple products and services starting with i: iPhone, iPad,

iPod, iMac, iOS, iTunes, iCloud, iMessage, iMovie, iWork, iLife …

This is some statistics as of May 2022: Apple has sold 2.2 billion iPhones worldwide, 100 million

songs in Apple Music, and 4.75 million apps in the Apple AppStore to choose from (there are

2.9 million apps in the Google Play Store), and about 32,000 new iOS apps appearing every

month (compared to almost 70,000 apps for Android)

In addition, worldwide there are 3.3 billion smartphone users who spend an average of 4.8

hours per day on various apps (accounting for about one-third of daily awake time), and the total

time spent on apps in 2021 worldwide was about 3.8 trillion hours. The total number of new

apps downloaded in 2021 is 230 billion. Some calculations suggest that mobile phone apps

could generate more than $935 billion in revenue by 2023.

Steve Jobs, former Apple President, was asked what the "i" in Apple's peculiar logo stands for.

Steve Jobs answered: "'i' stands for inspiration and individuality."

This generation is called the I (Me) generation or Gen Z, emphasizing individuality and


Steve Jobs once tried to hire PepsiCo boss John Sculley to be Apple's CEO and was initially

rejected. Then Jobs said to Sculley, "Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or

come with me and change the world?"

Steve Jobs and his Apple company really changed the world, Apple changed people's way of

life, and brought universal noise and agitation. But Jobs has not been able and will never be

able to change the emptiness and thirsty of people's hearts under the cover of this exterior


Just take a cursory look, have the advancement of technology, the increase in wealth, the

extravagance of life, and the development of social media today make people happier than

ever? No!

Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ uttered a shocking sentence on the cross: "I Thirst."

“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be

fulfilled, said, "I thirst!" Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge

with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour

wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”(John 19:28-30,


1. Jesus Knows

“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished,…”(John 19:28,NKJV)

When does "after this" mean?

Based on the context of John, it seems to refer to the fact that the Lord Jesus entrusted his

mother Mary to the disciple John on the cross. But a careful examination of the records in the

four Gospels points to another matter.

According to the Gospel of Mark, Jesus was crucified at nine in the morning.

“It was nine in the morning when they crucified Him.”(Mark 15:25,NIV)

During the three-hour period from 9:00 am to 12 pm, the Lord Jesus said the first three

sentences of the Seven Words of the Cross:

When He was crucified, He asked the Father to forgive those who crucified Him.

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”(Luke 23:34,NIV)

Then, He promised the confessed and repentant robber next to him to be in Paradise.

“I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise.”(Luke 23:43)

Then, when he saw his mother standing under the cross, he entrusted his mother Mary to the

disciple John.

“"Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother."”(John 19:26-27,


For the next three hours, the Gospel of Matthew recorded darkness all over the place, and the

Lord Jesus was silent. At nearly three o'clock, Jesus cried out on the cross the fourth sentence

of the Seven Words of the Cross.

“From the noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the

afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?"--which means, "My God,

my God, why have you forsaken me?"”(Matt 27:45-46,NIV)

Next, Jesus quickly uttered the last three sentences of the Seven Words of the Cross and

delivered his soul to God.

Therefore, the fifth sentence of the Seven Words of the Cross recorded in John, "I am thirsty,"

came after Jesus cried out to God in agony.

“Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished,…”(John 19:28,NKJV)

Jesus is fully God, fully man, and he knows all things. There are a series of accounts of "Jesus

knows" in John.

Jesus knew who Peter and Nathanael were (John 1:42; 47)

Jesus knew all people and what is in their hearts (John 2:24-25)

Jesus knew Nicodemus and the thoughts of his heart (John 3:3)

Jesus knew the past and present of the Samaritan woman (John 4:18)

Jesus knew that the paralytic by the pool of Bethesda had been ill for a long time (John 5:6)

Jesus knew they were going to force him to be king (John 6:15)

Jesus knew what the disciples were thinking (John 6:61)

Jesus knew from the beginning that Judas was going to betray him (John 6:64)

Jesus knew where he came from and where he was going (John 8:14)

Jesus knew his time had come (John 13:1)

Jesus knew all that was to come to him (John 18:4)

Jesus knew that all things had already happened (John 19:28)

The fact that the Lord Jesus knew all things is both comforting and warning to believers. It is

comforting because He knows and sympathizes with all our difficulties and hardships, so He can

be our comfort and help. It is a warning because He knows all our thoughts and ideas in our

hearts, so we must fear the Lord and restrain ourselves not to be slack, nor to be


2. I Thirst

“That the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I thirst!"”(John 19:28,NKJV)

“That the Scripture might be fulfilled.”

When the Jewish chief priests, elders, scribes, and Pharisees gathered around to accuse Jesus,

when Pilate ordered Jesus to be flogged, and when the Roman soldiers cruelly crucified Jesus

and divided his clothes and cast lots for his garments, they do all these evil things without

realizing that they are precisely fulfilling Old Testament prophecy.

But the Lord Jesus is different. He knows exactly what is happening at every moment and which

prophecies of the Old Testament are being fulfilled. At this moment, "Jesus knew that all things

were now accomplished," but one prophecy remained unfulfilled. To make this prophecy come

true, the Lord Jesus said, "I thirst."

It can be seen that when the Lord Jesus said, "I thirst," on the one hand, He was really thirsty,

and on the other hand, He deliberately wanted the words of the scriptures to be fulfilled.

1) Physical Thirst

After the Last Supper, Jesus took the eleven disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane, where He

was in such agony of spirit and prayed more fervently that His sweat fell to the ground like drops

of blood. Then the Lord Jesus was arrested, suffered continual torture, experienced six

successive unlawful trials, was brutally flogged, wore a crown of thorns, and was crucified.

At least fifteen hours had passed from the time of his arrest in Gethsemane to the eve of his

crucifixion. Sweat, blood loss, cruel torture, without sleep the whole time, and no water and no

food, all of which caused the Lord Jesus to suffer from severe dehydration and thirst.

What prophecies did the Lord Jesus' extreme thirst fulfill in the Old Testament?

Psalm 22 is a vivid description of the crucifixion of Christ.

“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has

melted away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof

of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.”(Ps 22:14-15)

Psalm 69 is yet another psalm of the suffering of the Messiah.

“They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.”(Ps 69:21)

The irony is that the Creator, who created the oceans that cover 70% of the earth's surface and

countless rivers, lakes, and streams, endured extreme thirst himself on the cross!

2) Spiritual Thirst

When the Lord Jesus bore the sins of all mankind on the cross, "God made him who had no sin

to be sin for us" (2 Corinthians 5:21). The Son of God, who was holy and immaculately glorified,

actually carried the sins of all people in the world throughout history, instead of us sinners

suffering the wrath and judgment of the righteous Father God for our sins. This is exactly the

cup that the Lord Jesus prayed for God to remove in the Garden of Gethsemane—the bitter cup

of the cross, the wrathful cup of God's judgment! Because even God the Father turned his eyes

away from him, the Lord Jesus cried out in pain on the cross:

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?”(Mark 15:34)

How eagerly does the Lord Jesus desire to restore the intimate fellowship of deep love with the

Trinity of God the Father and the Holy Spirit?

This desire and expectation for God is also vividly described in the Psalms.

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for

God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day

and night, while men say to me all day long, "Where is your God?"”(Ps 42:1-3,NIV)

“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in

a dry and weary land where there is no water.”(Ps 63:1)

It is also ironic that the Savior who has the living water of life and gives rivers of living water also

suffers from spiritual thirst that is separated from God the Father?

“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will

never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to

eternal life.”(John 4:13-14)

“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has

said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”(John 7:37-38)

On the cross, the Lord Jesus suffered the thirst of body and soul, and at the same time suffered

the pain of separation from God. This is naturally reminiscent of the thirsty rich man who was

burned by the flames in hell in Luke 16. Jesus took the place of sinners to taste the sufferings of

hell, so that the people of the world could enter eternal life by faith.

3) People’s Thirst

As mentioned earlier, modern technology—computers, mobile phones, Twitter, Facebook,

Telegram, WeChat, TikTok, Tudou, Ali,, channel, Amazon, etc., brings people into a

razzle-dazzle world, but are the worries of modern people lessened? Are you happier? No more

emptiness? In fact the exact opposite!

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken Me, the spring of living water, and

have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”(Jer 2:13)

The world has done two evil things: first, it has forsaken the true God; second, make for himself

a cracked cistern that cannot hold water.

What is a cracked cistern that cannot hold water?

1. People: The Samaritan woman had five husbands and one who was not her husband.

She thought that others would bring her satisfaction, but the results kept her


2. Possession: Many people think that luxury cars, luxury houses, and wealth can make

them satisfied and happy, but the depression and suicide of many singers, movie stars,

and celebrities are obviously a powerful counter-evidence.

3. Place: Some people think that resorts, wealthy areas, tourist destinations, developed

countries or regions can make them happy. Recently, there is a very fashionable Internet

term called "Run", which means “Run” in English. It is said that celebrities such as Feng

Xiaogang “run” . But are people in these areas satisfied?

4. Position: Some people think that as long as they get a degree, a position, a promotion,

or a certain power, they can be satisfied. The hunger and thirst for power shown by

some people in major political occasions is astonishing, but do not forget that senior

officials have been a high-risk group for the past decade.

5. Poison: This category is the most obvious. Drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography,

Internet addiction, games and other strongly addictive things are fatal. The difference is

sooner or later.

All of the above are things that are difficult to fill in the gully, make people thirsty, and cannot

help themselves.

The physical thirst that the Lord Jesus endured on the cross is to quench the spiritual thirst in

your heart.

“A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the

hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips.”(John 19:29)

When Jesus was crucified, the Roman soldiers offered Him wine or vinegar three times, but the

Lord Jesus refused the first two times.

“There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, He refused to drink

it.”(Matt 27:34)

“They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha. …Then they offered Him wine mixed with

myrrh, but He did not take it.”(Mark 15:23)

This was the first time before Jesus was crucified. The wine mixed with bitter gall and myrrh had

the function of suppressing consciousness and reducing pain, but Jesus refused to take it, and

He decided to endure the suffering of the cross soberly throughout the whole process.

The second time was when the Roman soldiers mocked Jesus, but this time, Jesus obviously


“The soldiers also came up and mocked Him. They offered Him wine vinegar and said, "If you

are the king of the Jews, save yourself."”(Luke 23:36-37)

What was recorded in John 19 was the third time. “A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they

soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips.”(

John 19:29)

This time Jesus took it.

They put the sponge to the hyssop, reminiscent of the Passover lamb that were slaughtered

when the Israelites left Egypt.

“Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Go at once and select the

animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into

the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe.

”(Exod 12:21-22)

Obviously, the apostle John's account of this detail shows that Jesus is the Passover lamb who

was slain and sacrificed!

3. It’s finished

“When He had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, He bowed His head and

gave up His spirit.”(John 19:30)

If "I thirst" means Who He is, then "It is finished" means What He has done! It was what Jesus is

and what He has done that accomplished the marvelous and incomparable salvation of the


"It is finished" is the sixth sentence of the Seven Words of the Cross of Jesus. This sentence is

a shocking declaration of only one word in the original text, which marks the complete victory

and triumph of the cross of the Lord Jesus! As the Lord Jesus Himself said-

“No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down and

authority to take it up again.”(John 10:18)

What does “It’s finished” mean when Jesus said it?

Christ's suffering is over, God the Father's entrustment has been satisfied, the prophecies of the

Old Testament have been fulfilled, and the world's sin debt has been paid off.

The great work of redemption is complete, God the Father is reconciled to the world, the way of

the sanctuary is opened, the law of the Old Testament is ended,

The system of sacrifice is abolished, the promises of the new covenant are fulfilled, the sting of

death is removed, the age of grace begins,

The door of salvation is open, and the Father's plan is fulfilled.

Let us praise him with all the angels!

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and

honor and glory and praise!”(Rev 5:12)

“To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for

ever and ever!”(Rev 5:13)

Finally, let us look again at the extraordinary truth contained in the greatest paradox of the Bible,

the cross of the Lord Jesus.

Jesus was nailed to the cross to bear the curse in order to free the world from the curse of the

law by faith;

Jesus suffered torment on the cross in order to sympathize with the suffering of believers and

avoid the suffering of hell;

Jesus was naked and crucified to suffer humiliation so that believers could remove their guilt

and no longer be ashamed;

Jesus was deprived of everything on the cross so that believers could have everything in Him;

Jesus was separated from God the Father on the cross so that believers could be reconciled to

God and become God's children;

Jesus endured physical thirst on the cross so that believers could no longer have spiritual thirst;

Jesus carried the sins of the world on the cross in order for the believers to be forgiven and

overcome the power of sin;

Jesus died on the cross in place of sinners for believers to gain eternal life through faith in


Dear friends, have you ever experienced thirst?

The Creator who once created vast oceans, lakes and rivers big and small, said on the cross, "I

thirst"! He endured extreme thirst so that you and I would no longer be thirsty in Him!

Listen to the gracious call of the Lord Jesus to you: “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and

drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from

within him.” (John 7:37-38)

"The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty,

let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life." (Rev 22:17)

Because Jesus said, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never go hungry, and he

who believes in Me will never be thirsty." (John 6:35)


Pastor Yunsheng Ren

November 8th, 2022


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