They say that confession is good for the soul. So, confession time; too often in my life I have taken the easy way out. I have run from difficult situations; avoided necessary confrontations and have refused to commit to different things because I did not have complete control over what needed to be done. I would venture to say that there have been times in your life when you have taken the easy way out. We want a quick fix; whether it has to do with our marriage, our bodies, or our jobs, we like to take the comfortable way. We want to avoid pain or at the very least minimize it. So we shun the way that is uncomfortable.
Standing in contrast to this kind of behavior is Jesus. He did not take the easy way out. Instead He chose to respond in obedience and suffer. He faced sin, evil, despair, and death head on. He did this to fully identify with the suffering each of us experiences and to show the costliness of our sin and God’s grace. No, Jesus did not take the easy way, He took the uncomfortable route all the way to the cross. For our brokenness and for our sin, Jesus took the way that lead to death. As He hung on the cross, He spoke these words, “I thirst” (John 19:28).
There are different thoughts to what this means, but I wonder if Jesus isn’t using the words “I thirst” to describe His own suffering. At the last supper, Jesus took the cup and said, “this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28). When James and John wanted to sit at His right and left, Jesus asked them, “Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” (Matthew 20:22). Additionally, at the time of Jesus’ arrest, Peter drew his sword, but Jesus said these words to him, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” (John 18:11). Each of these instances shows Jesus using the metaphor of drinking as a way of describing the suffering he would “drink” as he suffered and died on the cross. As we understand the idea of drinking as a metaphor for suffering, we see that Jesus’ words “I thirst” may be pointing toward His willingness to drink the cup of suffering and sin and hate. Jesus’ words “I thirst” would be an indicator that He finished off the cup the Father had given Him; Jesus completed His mission to suffer and died for our brokenness and sin. Jesus’ thirst is Him embracing the death His Father planned for him. Once He has died, His mission was complete. “Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty’” (John 19:28 NIV).
So, what are you thirsty for? What do you think would satisfy you? A bigger house? A promotion? Being married to somebody else? Having a different life? Would these things really satisfy your thirst? Too often we get hung up on things that we think will bring us satisfaction, but a new house, a promotion, a new spouse or a different life will leave you feeling satisfied for only a short while. Jesus’ death on the cross for me and for you beckons us to only thirst for Him because in Him is where we find true satisfaction in our lives. In Him our thirst is quenched.