“After this Jesus, knowing that all was now finished to fulfil the scripture, said, ‘I thirst’ (Διψῶ). A bowl full of vinegar stood there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, ‘It is finished’; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” (Jn 19: 28-30)
A literally “excruciating,” physical thirst was part of the agony of anyone dying in this horrible manner, by crucifixion. But as one of the few, precious words offered to us by our Redeemer in His final moments, this word, Διψῶ (I thirst), sticks in my mind as more than an expression of only His physical state. His entire journey, His entire coming into our world speaks of His undying “thirst” for our good, our salvation. And so also He called me to “thirst” for Him, for His “righteousness.” (Mt 5: 6)
On this Friday as I carry this word of my Lord with me, offered to me from the Cross, – “I thirst,” – let me also offer my “thirst” to Him in response. Let me not misdirect my thirsts or hungers in false directions that lead to dead-ends. Just as He reminded me of His own thirst on His final Friday, so on another occasion, “On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.” (Jn 7: 37) Glory be to Him.