“I am thirsty,” is a most ordinary phrase.For to thirst Is to be human.
Jesus is human. The only human to ever be so by choice. Human at a time the rest of us would have chosen Any other path than the one He walked.
For to be fully human Is to fully experience The agony of it all.
Jesus declares, “I am thirsty."
Did His thirst begin in the garden the night before? When His heart broke into tears And His mouth filled with the bitter taste of betrayal. When the kiss of a friend Was used to stab Him in the back.
How parched did His mouth become as the night dragged on with accusations? When His tongue waited And restrained itself from words of defense. When the only water offered to Him Was the spit spattered across His face.
How dry was His throat When His lips were up against that post and the liquid ran red from His back? When the metal ends of a whip Ripped through His flesh Again And again And again And again.
Was there any water left for His tears When thorns pierced His brow? When blow After blow After blow Drove the sign of the curse Deeper and deeper Into the only head capable of bearing its burden.
How did He long for relief When the heavy weight of that wooden beam Was placed upon His cracked-open shoulders? When nails went through His wrists And pain shot like lightning up His arms. When His knees were forced outward So His feet could be hammered like a piece of lumber.
How did Jesus feel His frailty, When He was hung Naked Upon that appalling tree? When He chose to be human In the midst of public humiliation And unimaginable suffering.
How did He gasp and sputter As His body reached for the life that was being drained from it? When His arms pulled out from their joints And pushed His lungs to the point of collapse. When the One who breathed the earth into being Struggled now to simply exhale.
Labored breathing. Excruciating pain. Agonizing thirst.
As God, Jesus could have blocked the torture, Pushed away the suffering, Stopped the death. As human, Jesus chose to face the torment, Endure the anguish, Experience the death.
“I am thirsty.” This was Jesus’ declaration of humanity And His demonstration of love.
I wrote this reflection for the Good Friday service at my church. In honor of the day, I also wanted to share it with you here.