Psalm twenty-two paints an accurate and appalling picture of Jesus’ crucifixion... We know that David penned the word in 1,000 BC +/-, but as you read them, see the portrait of Jesus’ crucifixion...
They “pierced His hands and feet” (Psalm 22:16). As the weight of the dying Man’s body pulled Him downward, His shoulders were “pulled out of joint” (Psalm 22:14). An onlooker could have easily counted his ribs (Psalm 22:17). In anguish, He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1). The crowds who “scorned” and “mocked” Him said, “He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him!” (Psalm 22:8). The soldiers gambled, casting lots, for His coat (Psalm 22:18). And during those interminable hours, He suffered with thirst. “My tongue sticks to my jaws” (Psalm 22:15).
Elsewhere in the Psalms we read, “for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink” (Psalm 69:21, ESV) and “as a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, ‘Where is your God?’ ” (Psalm 42:1-3, ESV).
This morning we consider the fifth of Jesus utterances from the cross: “Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), ‘I thirst’ ” (John 19:28, ESV).
In every detail, Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies. He said, “I thirst” because it had been predicted. In doing so, He demonstrated the absolute authenticity and inspiration of Scripture.
He also demonstrated His humanity.
The math is messed up, but Jesus was 100% God, and at the same time, He was 100% man. This too was predicted. (By the way Mr. Smart-Guy... take my advice... don’t try to figure this out... just accept it by faith.)
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6, ESV). Do you see it? A child... Mighty God. 100% God and 100% Man.
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14, ESV). Again, a child named “God with us!” 100% God and 100% Man.
So, just as prophesied, Jesus was God, and Jesus was a Man. He got hungry (Matthew 4:2). He was tired after a long journey (John 4:6). He slept (Mark 4:38) and He wept (John 11:35) and He rejoiced (Luke 10:21). Before creation, Jesus was with God... and He was God. And when the time was right, Jesus “became flesh” (John 1:1, 14). He stepped out of His throne-room and became human like us (Philippians 2:6-7).
The Creator, Who spoke in oceans into existence, desperately needed a sip of water.
Here’s the punch line: “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17, ESV). And “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:15-16, ESV).
He became a man so that He could be the only acceptable substitutionary sacrifice for sin.
And He was tempted like us. He suffered like us. He thirsted like us, and He beckons us to approach the Sympathetic Savior with boldness. When I thirst... He understands.