John 19v28, CEB
After this, knowing that everything was already completed, in order to fulfill the scripture, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”
We come to the fifth word.
Jesus is thirsty.
What is so striking about this is that several chapters before, in John 4, Jesus has a conversation with a Samaritan woman, in which he offers her Living Water. In contrast to regular water, which will only temporarily quench thirst, this Living Water will provide continuous quenching. “The water that I give,” he says, “will become in those who drink it a spring of water that bubbles up into eternal life.”
Now, the one who offered Living Water has become thirsty.
This, like the cry of abandonment, echoes Psalm 22.
“My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth…”
Jesus’ thirst is actually what led him to the cross.
His thirst for the Kingdom of God.
His thirst for justice for the poor and oppressed.
His thirst for a generous, compassionate, and peaceful world.
And now, in this moment, that existential thirst has become literal, palpable.
May we embrace Jesus’ thirst as our own.
May it only be quenched by a more just and generous world
where all are welcome, and all have enough.