Status: Thirst. A word of fulfillment (John 19:28)




Can you count on God?

  • When house projects and car troubles accumulate debt and you wonder what will fall apart next?
  • When life keeps dealing you bad cards and you have more regrets than rewarding aspects of life?
  • When you feel alone, and your prayers are not being answered?
  • When you’re tired, and not just sleepy tired?
  • When death arrives on your doorstep?

We can count on God because Jesus was faithful.


EXAMINE           John 19:28     Status: Thirsty. A word of fulfillment

John 19:28-29
28  After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.”
29  A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth.


“After this”

Jesus was betrayed by friends, unjust treatment by civil leaders, unfairly characterized by religious leaders, beaten to near death by soldiers, and then publicly crucified naked and suffering, hanging on a cross.



  • Father, forgive them.
  • Today you will be with me in paradise.
  • Woman, behold your son.
  • My God, why have you forsaken me?
  • I thirst.

Several observations and lessons from the life of Jesus.

Jesus knew his purpose.   
Jesus, knowing that all was now finished

The Gospel’s reveal Jesus’s knowledge as omniscient – equal to God.

  • Jesus knows God the Father fully (Mt 11:27).
  • Jesus knew other’s thoughts (Mt 9:1; Lk 11:14; Jn 16:19)
  • Jesus knew other’s motives (Mk 12:15; Lk 9:47; Jn 2:22; 6:61)
  • Jesus knew other’s history (Jn 4:17; 5:6).
  • Jesus knew future events and prophesied them (Jn 6:6 miracle feed 5K; 6:64 who would believe; 11:39 raising Lazarus; 13:1 his hour had come; 13:11 he was returning to the Father; 13:25-28 who would betray him… and numerous times predicted his death and resurrection).

Further, this text mentions Jesus knowing all was finished. What is the all? The all that was finished was the purpose for which Jesus came – He came to glorify God by perfectly obeying the law and making atonement for the sin of the world.

  • John 6:38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.
  • John 4:34 “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.”
  • John 10:10 Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
  • John 12:27 Jesus said, “For this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.”
  • John 17:4 Jesus prayed, “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.”
  • John 18:37 Jesus answered, “For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
  • Matthew 5:17 “I did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.”
  • Matthew 10:34-35 Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
  • Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
  • Luke 19:10 Jesus said, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
  • 1Timothy 1:15 “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”
  • 1John 3:8 “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.”

Jesus is the exemplar human for us to follow. As Jesus knew His purpose, so we must know ours.

  • What did Jesus celebrate? Generous love for people. Courageous faith in God.
  • What did Jesus chatter most about? Stewardship (time/talents/treasure). Kingdom (Heaven/Hell).
  • What did Jesus condemn? Hypocrisy.
  • Where did Jesus spend most of His time? On mission at work, at worship, and in the world.
  • Who did Jesus welcome in His life to accomplish His purpose? Surprising Neighbors (sinners, poor, crippled, lame, blind).

We can “live” with the end in mind. Imagine being on your death bed asking

  • What was my life aims and accomplishments?
  • What do I have to show for my time, talent, treasure?
  • Who will remember me and what will they say when I’m gone?

OR, like Jesus…

We can “die” with the end in mind. We find meaning by knowing our Creator & Savior.

  • John 12:24 “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
  • Mark 8:35-36 “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”
  • Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”


  • Purpose = 1) Identity in Christ, 2) Influence on others. #WhosYour1 / #WhosYourPeople to serve?


Jesus obeyed the Scriptures.  
said (to fulfill the Scripture)

Jesus spoke to fulfill Scripture prophecy.

  • Psalm 69:15 “They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.”
  • Psalm 22:15 “My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.”

Jesus wanted us to know God is truthful and Scripture is trustworthy. All of God’s promises are true and a treasure for our life (Ps 19:7-10). Think about it: the last moments of Jesus’s life – and dealing with his own pain – He is thinking on God’s faithful word and us to be able to trust it. Each word, every command, and all God’s promises are faithful and fitting for our life.

Jesus died with Scripture on His lips. He shows us what sustains us, especially in life’s most difficult circumstances. God’s word is our strength.

  • Matthew 4:4 “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
  • Psalm 119:11 “I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
  • Psalm 119:28 “My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.”
  • Psalm 119:50 “This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.”
  • Psalm 119:61 “Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me, I do not forget your law.”
  • Psalm 119: 67-68 “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. You are good and do good; teach me your statutes.”
  • And so many more… Ps 119 is an example of trusting God’s word, especially in trials. There’s 22 stanzas that would be wonderful meditations each day over the next month.


“When you pricked Jesus Christ, when you stabbed Jesus Christ, he literally bled Scripture. He knew the Scripture so well, he thought about the Scripture so pervasively, it so saturated and permeated his whole being and his imagination and his feelings and his will and his knowledge that it shaped him instinctively. The Scripture shaped every part of him. It was who he was, and that’s how he was able. He didn’t have to sit and think, ‘Well, now how should I act?’ His nobility, his courage, his peace, his faith all happened because he was just saturated with the Scripture.”[1]

  • We wonder in confusion or worry with anxiety, and miss out on God’s peace and power because we are not sustaining ourselves with the word of God.


Jesus experienced need.

“I thirst.”
29  A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth… Jesus received the sour wine – [and died].

We often emphasize the deity of Jesus, but we also cannot empty Jesus of humanity.

  • The One who created the world ~71% H2O and measured the oceans with the hollow of his hand (Isa 40:12) is crying out for a sip of refreshment.
  • The One who set boundaries for shining sea (Job 38) and warns the waves to be still (Mk 4:39), is now calling for a swallow of water.
  • The One who created clouds that fill up to rain on the earth (Job 38:37), is now asking for a drop of liquid.


While all the other status reflect a heroic nature of Jesus, this one reflects the humanity of Jesus. God sent Jesus to earth to experience all the human emotions and events, so that He can identify with us in every way (Heb 4:12). Previously in John’s Gospel we see the humanity of Jesus through thirst

  • John 4:7 Jesus spoke to a Samaritan woman, “Give me a drink.”

And previously on the cross Jesus was offered a drink but refused it (Mk 15:22-23). The first drink Jesus refused was wine mixed with myrrh, which was given to criminals to help numb the pain of enduring crucifixion. Jesus was offered this wine because everyone observed the excruciating pain He was enduring. Yet, Jesus rejected this wine because He wanted to be fully conscious in paying the penalty for our sin. He did not want His humanity to escape the experience of suffering, so that He could truly relate to us.

At this moment, the fluid loss of blood and sweat is dramatic. Dehydration has set in. Medical experts note Jesus would have pain from every nerve center in His body, cramps in the abdomen, difficulty breathing and near asphyxiation, nausea, dry and cracked lips, swollen tongue, throat feeling like sandpaper, vocal cords swollen and hoarse from screams.

The second offer of ὄξος was a cheap wine. One of the soldiers put it on a long hyssop branch with sponge on the end to offer Jesus a drink. It is unknown, but perhaps this soldier’s act of compassion was the same who professed after Jesus’s death that He must have been the Son of God (Mk 15:39).

Ultimately, Jesus’s cry for thirst fulfilled Scripture but also revealed what Jesus has done for us.

  • Jesus drank the cup of wrath that we will never have to taste. Jesus swallowed the full sentence of sin and became our Passover Lamb, so eternal death passes over those who have the life-blood of Christ applied to the doors of their heart. Jesus endured thirst so that you can be satisfied.
    • John 4:14; 6:35 “whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life… whoever believes in Jesus will never thirst”
    • Revelation 22:17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
  • Jesus’s request for drink reflects it’s ok to ask for our needs to be met.


  • Since Jesus persevered in humanity, we can too through our faith.
  • In life’s struggles, it is ok to backup but not give up. We can endure trusting God’s goodness and grace to bring us through.



One last thought about Jesus’s statement “I thirst.”

  • The feeling of being thirsty is a natural instinct regulated by a negative feedback loop between the brain and body organs. That loop cycle is solved and stopped when you are hydrated. However, a person can lose their sense of thirst due to traumatic injuries, or at times elderly or those near death can not know they are thirsty and die from dehydration.
  • Jesus’s last statement was about human need, but also divine victory. Jesus’s thirst was a triumph declaration that no one could take His life; Jesus willingly lays it down and God is in control (Jn 10:18).


  • Do you thirst for God’s victory in your life?


[1] Tim Keller sermon on John 19:28-37.


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