5: "I am thirsty."


I appreciate the words of appreciation that several of you have taken the trouble to express to me about this series, about the 7 last sayings of Christ on the Cross. I appreciate your sensitivity to the fact that this is not a commonplace bit of instruction. And your presence here expresses your support for what God thinks for that kind of instruction.

Seven last words. This is segment number 3. Seven times the New Testament records for us that the Lord Jesus Christ while dying on the cross as the Lamb of God for the sins of the world spoke.

1: "Father, Forgive Them."

The first word we looked at was in Luke 23:34, where He revealed that the cross made it possible for Him to ask His Father to forgive those who are in the process of murdering Him and to save them from the lake of fire. That was His mission, and that was His desire. The death that He paid to cover the moral guilt of all mankind made it possible for Him to ask the Father to forgive them. For now it was possible for God the Father to offer them that forgiveness on the basis of what His Son had performed in their behalf.

2: "Today you will be with Me in paradise."

Second word is in Luke 23:43. It reveals that Jesus Christ has provided a guaranteed way of salvation as a grace gift from a holy God by faith in Jesus Christ alone. It's a guaranteed salvation.

3: "Here is your mother. / Here is your son."

The third word is in John 19:26-27, which reals a duty of caring for one's parents, and that a genuine family is formed of those on the basis of the cross, those who are believers. So Jesus placed His mother in the care of the disciple John. And that family, that provision, made right there at that point in time, while they stood at the foot of the cross, symbolized that that is the ground of a real family.

4: "My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?"

The fourth word is in Matthew 27:46. It reveals that Jesus Christ fully paid for the sins of mankind by his spiritual death to satisfy the demand of God's justice.

5: "I am thirsty."

The fifth word is found in John 19:28. Here is the word relative to the agony of the thirst that hit the Lord on the cross. John 19:28 "After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said 'I am thirsty.'"

This was near to 3 o'clock in the afternoon. The suffering and the process of atonement, the sin sacrifice that was required by the justice of God was now almost complete.

Crucifixion, in the nature of the case, created an intense thirst in its victims. Lord Jesus Christ has Himself suffered the loss of a great deal of blood from the physical beatings and abuse that He took, and the physical pain along with it brought on a condition of shock, which is something that normally does happen.

And along with shock, there is the condition of thirst. So here it is, a signal that things are very serious now for the Lord physically.

Thirst in the Bible symbolizes the eternal pain for unforgiven sin in the Lake of Fire. So here again, we have in John, a word which is describing an action which has a double meaning, symbolism behind it. In Luke 16:24, this is the historical record of the poor man Lazarus, and the rich man who both died. Lazarus and the rich man are both in Hades at this time. This is before the resurrection of Christ. Lazarus is in Abraham's bosom, the place of the saved; the rich man is in a place called Torment, the place of the unsaved. In verse 24, "And he," the rich man, "cried out and said 'Father Abraham,'" because he looked across the gulf between them, and he saw Abraham there with Lazarus. He said, "'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue; for I am in agony in this flame.'"

So thirst in the Bible is connected with the agony of unforgiven sin and the consequent suffering that that brings when one dies in that condition. Come to the last book of the Bible, the book of the Revelation, Chapter 20 and this is again stressed in the same way. Revelation 20:10. "And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever." They are thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:15 reiterates this, "And if anyone's name is not found written in the book of life," The Lamb's Book of Life, The Record of Saved People, "he was thrown into the lake of fire." So thirst is associated with heat, and heat is associated in the Bible with unforgiven sin.

This, of course, happened to the Lord once more in fulfillment of prophecy. Throughout the Scriptures there is this constant something predicted hundreds of years in the past now fulfilled in exact detail at some point in time, confirming that the information came from God. It is amazing how people still do not think that the Bible is the accurate book conveying the thoughts of God, and that therefore it speaks clearly and speaks understandably. We have people who used to attend Berean Church. They wouldn't set a foot in here now for the simple reason that we treat the Bible as the book that speaks for God.

Recently I had somebody challenge that the creation days were really 24 hour days. When I said, but the Bible says there were 24 hour days. They said, "Oh, where does it say that?" And of course, what's moving them is the fact that so many smart, smart, religious people say "No, It was ages. It was not really 24 hour days." So I said, "Well, it is in the Hebrew Bible, because in the Hebrew Bible, anytime you have a modifier to a word, an adjective added to a word, like first to the word day; if you say 'first day' in Hebrew, all of us Jews know that's 24 hours. Because anytime you use the Hebrew word Yom and you put an adjective to modify it first day, second day, we know it's 24 hours.

That's just Hebrew." But that doesn't bother the liberal. He spiritualizes, you know that! The whole amillennial bit is spiritualizing of plain meaning of Scripture. Furthermore, I pointed out when the Hebrew Bible says. "Evening and morning were the first day," that's a Jewish way of saying 24 hours. Everybody knows that. That's plain everyday Hebrew. So it's clear that it was not millions of years.

And then I could not believe a person who attends church would say to me next, "Well, Peter says that a day is a thousand years with God, and therefore the creation days were at least a thousand years long." I said, "No, that's not what he said. He said that with God a thousand years is just like a day. It's a trivial amount of time. It's a short span. With us, it's a long time; but not with God." So this is no small thing that the Bible keeps showing us by God saying something in the past, and then we get the New Testament and it says, here it is. And it even says it so it would be fulfilled what was said very explicitly, to try to preclude people treating the Bible as a book that you can play fancy free and footloose. It's done all the time in liberalism.

In Psalm 69:21. "They also gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink." Now we find when we read that in the Old Testament that that was just applying to David for this psalm is his agony. When he gets to the New Testament, they quote this verse so that the Scriptures would be fulfilled, "for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink." And it connected in a distant application to what happened to Christ on the cross.

John often uses his writings to symbolize the desire for eternal life in various ways. John 4:1-29 is the story of the woman at the well in Samaria who kept seeking satisfaction for her spiritual thirst in many marriages. That was a bummer deal from the first time that she thought of that. Many marriages to fulfill her spiritual thirst. But Jesus offered her the real thing. He offered Himself as the water of life. So here it is. In Scripture, you have an historical event which has a spiritual significance to what it's teaching.

In John 6:35, we're told that those who believe on Jesus will never thirst for eternal life again. They will have a right relationship to God forever. A water from which they will never again have to seek another drink to quench their thirst. What's He talking about? He's using physical water to convey a spiritual truth.

In John 7:37-39, this is at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus offered spiritual thirst to be satisfied to those who receive Him, and that they in turn would become rivers of living water of spiritual life from the indwelling Holy Spirit. Come unto Me. I'll satisfy your thirst, and you will become a living water of spiritual truth to satisfy the spiritual thirst of others. This is what Jack Smith is talking about. Christians should be a flood tide of satisfying the spiritual thirst that people have whether they know it or not, because of the doctoral instruction in the knowledge of the real things, the deep things, of the Spirit of God.

As one lady said to me today, it's nice just to come to Berean Church where Christmas is not just a lot of little interesting inspirational talk; and Easter is not just a little bit of inspirational talk. But here we are going into the deep things of the enormous significance of these sayings of Christ on the cross.

How many places are doing that this Easter season? And yet that's what the people of God have a right to see, to hear. Those who don't give a flip, they're out someplace else tonight. They're not in this room as Hebrews 10:24 commanded them to be; to assemble with the believers and not to let the devil say, no, you should be here. You've got this problem here. This is the substitute I have for you. This is real business and it is going to be an accountability some day before God of what we did with this church service this night. I can guarantee it.

In Revelation 21:6, Revelation 22:17, the gift of eternal life is offered as water to the spiritually thirsty again. So physical thirst of Jesus Christ on the cross reflected His spiritual thirst as He bore spiritual death for us all. When He was spiritually dead,... and He did die spiritually... that's another great revelation to a lot of people who are not well taught in the Bible. They understood He died physically, but they did not understand that death means separation. When He was separated from the Father and the Holy Spirit, that was spiritual death. That's how everybody is born. That's what has to be corrected. So the Lord Jesus Christ, when He was in spiritual death, it reflected in His physical condition of thirst. That's why He said on the cross, "I thirst," Also to fulfill the predictions of Psalm 69.

So what's the significance of the fifth word? It is that Jesus Christ is the water of life to satisfy permanently a sinner's thirst for eternal life in heaven. He is the only mediator, 1 Timothy 2:5, between God and man. Human good works will never satisfy spiritual thirst. That's why these religious groups that structure satisfying one's spiritual desires with human effort, with human works, with human good works, these people are never satisfied spiritually. And when they die, they're very uneasy and they should be, because they're trying to make it with God on the basis of qualifying themselves. You could never satisfy your spiritual thirst by qualifying yourself. The Lord Jesus Christ has to qualify you on the basis of what He has done.

Dr. John E. Danish, 1999

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