Jesus was upon the cross suffering. I can’t begin to imagine the pain of nails being pounded into my hands and feet. I would complain about the crown of thorns shoved down upon my brow. Jesus has been beaten, spat upon, bruised, and cut. And now his lips are parched and his mouth feels like cotton. And he utters, “I am thirsty.” Why doesn’t he do something about it? Did he not turn jugs of water into wine?
In his three short years of ministry, Jesus felt human emotions. He was tempted by the devil while suffering hunger in the wilderness (Matt 4:2). John 4:6 reports that Jesus grew weary in Samaria. Remember the time he was angry in the Temple and overthrew the money tables (John 2:15). The shortest verse in the Bible reports that “Jesus wept” at the tomb of Lazarus, his friend. And when he went to pray in an olive grove in Gethsemane, He told his disciples, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death” (Matt 26:38). At his arrest he told the crowd, “Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly” (Matt 26:53). And now just before his final breathe, he whispers, “I am thirsty.”
Why? Why did he grow thirsty on the cross? He didn’t have to suffer thirst. Why did he endure all these hurtful feelings? I think it was because he knew you would feel those very same emotions. You would feel hunger, anger, grief, and soul-crushing despair. And by knowing that our dear Jesus suffered the same real-life, human experience of pain, we know that when we turn to him in prayer, he understands. When we have no one to talk to, Jesus is listening and he cares. What a wonderful Savior is he!
A PRAYER FOR TODAY Dear Jesus, we are committed to making the journey to the cross again this year. We want to stay with you till the end—identifying with you and your pain on our behalf. Strengthen us that we may celebrate your salvation appropriately. Quench our thirsty souls with your Living Water.
Traveling the dusty road of Jerusalem, Linda