Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the 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. John 19:28-29
As presented on *The Lutheran Hour® by Dr. Oswald Hoffmann, March 25, 1973.
I spoke last year to a group of missionary doctors about how these words communicate to us that Jesus is real. After all those great, moving, profound words of forgiveness, love, and eternal life, this “I am thirsty” sounds very much like any other man dying of wounds inflicted upon Him. That is why His men have recorded it. They wanted us to know that He died as real men die.
After I spoke, the medical doctor who had introduced me was moved almost to tears. He told me about his son, 21 years of age, who had been fatally injured in a mountain-climbing expedition. He was the lead man in his team and had just made his way to a ledge above the rest of the young men. As he did, he came tumbling down with rock falling all around him. The next man on the team snagged him by the rope and let him down to a ledge below. The boys climbed down and were there with him for the 10 minutes before his death. They came back to report that during those 10 minutes his son had said two things: “It hurts” and “I’m thirsty.”
From his long experience in medicine, the father understood that kind of language. It’s for real. It was the language of the man who died that day on His cross. He is for real, and so is everything about Him—His Sonship with the Father, His claim to be the Messiah, the fulfillment of God’s promise to the world. He is the Savior of the world.
Lord Jesus, thank You for coming to earth as a human being so that we could know You and be saved. Amen.
Taken from A Message of Hope: Proclaiming the Cross (selections from messages broadcast on *The Lutheran Hour, celebrating 75 years of proclaiming the promise).
Copyright © 2006 by Lutheran Hour Ministries
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