I Am Thirsty
“After this, Jesus knew that everything had been completed and, so that the scripture
should be completely fulfilled, he said:
I am thirsty.
A jar full of sour wine stood there,’ so, putting a sponge soaked in the wine on a
hyssop stick, they held it up to his mouth. (John 28-29)
With these words, Jesus utters his last human request. It is ironic since Jesus
time and time again, has referred to himself as the living water. Yet, now he reminds us
of his humanity as he whispers through parched lips, his need, his thirst.
I am thirsty, and the words echo through the ages.
It is 2000 years ago, and I stand among the women and his mother and the Beloved
Disciple, at the foot of the cross. . . .
Oh my Lord, this awful day, when the heavens themselves seem to weep, I brush
the tears from my eyes and gaze upon your face. I touch the wood, rough and stained.
I am lost Jesus, how will I live without you? How can I go on? You have been
everything to me for so long. I cannot imagine not sitting at your feet, listening.
I thirst for the days gone by, when you healed those were in need, and spoke
such wisdom as we had never heard before.
I remember the Samaritan woman at the well, and how here eyes grew so large
as you offered her living water. (Jn. 4:14)
I remember the crowds whom you fed, and how you told them they would never
thirst again. (Jn. 6: 35)
I remember the festival when you called out to all to drink from you! (Jn. 7:37-38)
And now, you are here at this horrible place of Golgatha, asking for drink.
Many have run away, but in truth Lord, where can I run to? Only in you can I find
peace, only from you is my thirst quenched.
It is 2000 years after that awful day, and we gather here to remember. We sorrow with
those who stood as witness to that moment, yet we have benefit of knowing Easter’s joy.
We see that in these last moments, Jesus stood in solidarity with humanity,
expressing our most basic needs.
We recall the words, “I am thirsty,” and we hear their echo in the cries of the child
of Darfur, and in the whisper of the homeless veteran living in the streets of our cities
Oh Lord, we are thirsty, thirsty for real drink, the healing and living water. We
have wasted enough time on the nourishment offered by this world in work and
entertainment. It is food that does not satisfy, it does not last.
We live in fearful times. We fear for our jobs and homes, our families, our
country, our very planet. Where can we run to? We thirst for you.
Our thirst is a symbol of our exile from God. We seek the living water of God’s
Spirit, to revive and refresh us, to return us to unity with Him.
“I am thirsty,” and we recognize that you Jesus, you are thirsty for us, thirsty for
our love. Thirsty to love us more deeply than we can imagine.
And so we come today. We bend the knee of our heart, and we utter those