SEVEN SAYINGS FROM THE CROSS

A THEOLOGY OF UNDERSTANDING OUR NEEDS

"I THIRST"

(JOHN 19:28)

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

 

1.    This morning, we will continue in our series on the seven sayings from the cross.

 

V.  THE FIFTH SAYING FROM THE CROSS IS FOUND IN (JOHN 19:28).

 

§         "Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty” (John 19:28).

 

A.          LET'S FIRST OF ALL TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THIS STORY.

 

1.       At Calvary, Jesus was offered two drinks.  The first He refused.  The second He requested.  The second came just before 3:00 P.M.  The first came just after 9:00 A.M.

 

§         "They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, He refused to drink it.  When they had crucified Him, they divided up His clothes by casting lots" (Mt. 27:33-35).

 

a.    The Romans first offered Jesus sweet wine mixed with gall.  "Gall" was poisonous liver bile.  It was mixed with sweet wine and given to deaden the pain of dying.  When they offered it to Jesus, He refused it.  He was unwilling to dull the pain with narcotics or poison.  He would faithfully and fully endure the pain.

 

2.       Late in the afternoon, Jesus requested a drink…for Jesus said, "I thirst" and the Roman soldiers gave Him a drink of sour vinegar-wine mixed with water.  The Roman soldiers who came from Italy to Israel's hot climate realized how sick they could get drinking the water.  Jerusalem's water contained bacteria that could make them violently ill, so the soldiers mixed sour wine with local well water.  "Sour wine" was wine that had passed its time and had turned into vinegar.  The soldiers put it in the water hoping to kill the bacteria.  This water and vinegar-wine mixture was a sort of first century Gatorade.  The soldiers on duty that Friday took along this drink for themselves because they expected to sit in the hot sun at Calvary until their duty was complete.  That afternoon when Jesus called, "I thirst," they took a 24-inch hyssop branch and dipped a sponge in the vinegar-wine water then lifted it too His lips.  This small act of kindness refreshed Jesus' thirst.

 

B.         HERE ARE SOME LESSONS THAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THIS STORY.

 

(1)     FIRST, THE FIFTH SAYING FROM THE CROSS-TEACHES THAT SUFFERING ALWAYS, ALWAYS, HAS A PURPOSE AND THAT SOMETHING GOOD CAN COME FROM IT.

 

§         "Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty” (John 19:28).

 

1.    The physical and spiritual suffering that Jesus endured was all part of God's plan and in the same way, God has a purpose for our pain.  Something good can always come from our painful situations.

 

ILLUSTRATION:

 

Elizabeth Prentiss, the wife of a Presbyterian minister, spent most of her adult life as an invalid, seldom knowing a day without constant pain throughout her body. Yet she was described by her friends as a bright-eyed, cheery woman with a keen sense of humor.

 

Elizabeth was always strong in her faith and she always encouraged others, until tragedy struck her family beyond what even she could bear.

 

Elizabeth and her husband lost two of their children.  The loss of two of their children brought great sorrow to Elizabeth’s life. For weeks, no one could console her. In her diary she wrote of “empty hands, a worn-out, exhausted body, and a longing to flee from a world that has so many sharp experiences.”

 

During this period of grief, Elizabeth cried out to God, asking Him to minister to her broken spirit. It was at this time that Elizabeth’s pain brought something inspirational to all of us!

 

For many years, the church has been encouraged as they sing the words penned by Elizabeth Prentiss in her deepest sorrow:

 

More love to Thee, O Christ, more love to Thee!
Hear Thou the prayer I make on bended knee;
This is my earnest plea:
More love, O Christ, to Thee…

 

Once earthly joy I craved, sought peace and rest;
Now Thee alone I seek—Give what is best;
This all my prayer shall be:
More love, O Christ, to Thee…

 

Let sorrow do its work, send grief and pain;
Sweet are Thy messengers, sweet their refrain,
When they can sing with me,
More love, O Christ, to Thee…

 

Then shall my latest breath whisper Thy praise;
This be the parting cry my heart shall raise;
This still its prayer shall be:
More love, O Christ, to Thee.

 

2.    Elizabeth Prentiss…out of her pain and agony…wrote one of the most inspirational Christians songs in our songbook.  Something good came from her tragedy. 

 

3.    Likewise, something good can come from our painful situations.  For God promises in His word that He will work all things together for our good.  Jesus' pain resulted in the redemption of mankind.  Our pain can result in something positive as well.  

 

(2)     SECOND, THE FIFTH SAYING FROM THE CROSS-TEACHES THAT GOD UNDERSTANDS OUR PAIN BECAUSE HE EXPERIENCED SUFFERING TOO.

 

1.    One of the essential truths of the Christian faith is the two natures of Christ.  Not only was Jesus fully God…but He was also fully man.  Jesus was not half-man and half-God.  Jesus was completely human and completely divine at the same time.

 

2.    At times in Christ's life, we see both His humanity and His divinity.  When Jesus said that He was thirsty…we see His humanity.  He felt the moment of dehydration.  And looking over the entirety of His life, we see even more shared pain.  He experienced the death of a dear friend, Lazarus, and He wept.  He was tempted to sin by Satan.  He was made fun of, called a drunk, beat up, abandoned by His closest friends and left to hang alone on the cross.  He experienced real suffering. 

 

3.    Consider the words of the writer of Hebrews:

 

§         "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin" (Hebrews 4:15).

 

4.    Jesus experienced the same life-difficulties that we all face in some form or fashion.

 

5.    Philip Yancey and Dr. Paul Brand in their book, In His Image, say this:

 

§         "Our prayers and cries of suffering take on greater meaning because we now know them to be understood by God.  Instinctively, we want a God who not only knows about pain, but shares in it and affected by our own.  By looking at Jesus, we realize we have such a God.  He took onto Himself the limitations of time and space and family and pain and sorrow."

 

6.    It is comforting to know that we have a God who understands our suffering, our temptations, and we can be confident that, if nothing else, He will hold us tightly in His loving arms because He understands our painful experiences.

 

(3)     THIRD, THE FIFTH SAYING FROM THE CROSS-TEACHES JESUS' GREATEST THIRST.

 

1.    While on the cross, Jesus was certainly physically thirsty and dehydrated.  However, in the spiritual sense, Jesus' greatest thirst…His greatest desire…is for us to be saved.

 

ILLUSTRATION:

 

On March 5, 1994, Deputy Sheriff Lloyd Prescott was teaching a class for police officers in the Salt Lake City Library.  As he stepped into the hallway he noticed a gunman herding 18 hostages into the next room.  With a flash of insight, Prescott (dressed in street clothes) joined the group as the nineteenth hostage, followed them into the room, and shut the door.  But when the gunman announced the order in which hostages would be executed, Prescott identified himself as a cop.

 

In the scuffle that followed, Prescott, in self-defense, fatally shot the armed man.  The hostages were released unharmed. 

 

Likewise, Jesus, dressed himself in street clothes, entered into our world, and freed us from our captor,  On the cross, Jesus died, and delivered us from our hostage taker…Satan. 

 

2.    My friends, Jesus gave everything He had to free us from our sins.  His greatest thirst is for you and me to be saved.

 

CONCLUSION:

 

1.     This morning, we have learned several lessons from Jesus' fifth saying from the cross.

 

a.     First, we have learned that suffering always, always, has a purpose and that something good can come from it.

 

b.    Second, we have learned that God understands our pain because He experienced suffering too.

 

c.     Third, we have learned that Jesus' greatest thirst is for us to be saved.

 

2.     If you were at Calvary and could have quenched Jesus' thirst, would you have done it?  Would you have given Jesus His final request?

 

3.     This morning, if you are not a Christian, you can quench the Lord's thirst by coming forward and devoting your life to Him…believing, repenting, and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins.

 

4.     If you would like to respond to the Lord's invitation, please come as we stand and sing.

 

Primary Resources Used To Develop This Lesson: 

 

Seven Sayings One Friday- Kenn Filkins
Sermon By David Keithley
Sermon By Dr. James McCullen