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Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

Today we continue our series on Jesus’ seven sayings from the cross, titled Christ speaks from the cross.

Today we are talking about Jesus Thirsted So That We May Drink.


John 19:28 (AMP)

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said in fulfillment of the Scripture, “I am thirsty.”

Scripture Reading

John 19:23-29 (AMP)

23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer clothes and made four parts, a part for each soldier, and also the tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven [in one piece] from the top throughout. 

24 So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it will be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture, “They divided My outer clothing among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” 

25 So the soldiers did these things.

But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, His mother’s sister [Salome], Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 

26 So Jesus, seeing His mother, and the disciple whom He loved (esteemed) standing near, said to His mother, “[Dear] woman, look, [here is] your son!” 

27 Then He said to the disciple (John), “Look! [here is] your mother [protect and provide for her]!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said in fulfillment of the Scripture, “I am thirsty.” 

29 A jar full of [e]sour wine was placed there; so they put a sponge soaked in the sour wine on [a branch of] hyssop and held it to His mouth.


Father, help us never forget that no morning turns into evening without some heart breaking.

Comfort those whose happy days and sunshine have turned perhaps even suddenly to the midnight of a broken heart.

Bless those who are sad.

Take away the ache of their loneliness.

May those who are worried find a peace of mind that comes when they realise that Your Word promises they will never be tested beyond what they can bear.

Help those who are tempted.

Give them grace to resist temptation.

And warn those who are carelessly walking the razors edge of temptation.

Teach those who have not yet learned the joys of tithing what a blessing giving back to you what is yours will be to their own lives.

May those who know this joy seek to be good witnesses of this truth even as of the truth that Jesus Christ saves from sin.

Bless our gifts this morning to your glory. 

In Jesus name we pray.



Of all the things Jesus suffered, the fact of His thirst seems most inconsistent.

At the beginning of His ministry, He began His conversation with a Samaritan woman by asking her a drink, in John 4:7.

He used His request as a means of talking with her about His kingdom and to give her living water.

Those who drink of this eternal water will never thirst again.

How significant that Jesus began His ministry by asking for water, and now ends it by asking for water.

Meanwhile, He used thirst as a theme in many instances.

What a great common denominator thirst is for both the body and the soul.

  1. Jesus suffered many things.

How terrible were Jesus’ enemies!

During His ministry they surrounded Him with jibes, and at the cross they continued to taunt Him.

During His trial He did not open His mouth, but on the cross His sufferings were so great He had to speak.

See how humanity shone forth in the Saviour!

He was all God, but He was also man!

Although Jesus’ cry, “I thirst,” seems mild when compared to the other brutalities inflicted upon Him, in reality it may have been the greatest.

To die of thirst is one of the cruelest deaths.

Do you recall times when you have been extremely thirsty?

It is one of the emptiest feelings a person can have, we seem helpless.

At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, He hungered and was tempted by Satan.

At the end He was thirsty.

The devil used every possible means to defeat the Saviour by making Him take a shortcut to His Messiahship.

But Jesus would not yield.

We do find, however, that He cried out out in this last struggle.

His bodily anguish needed to find expression.

Our physical needs may be forgotten temporarily during a crisis of spiritual conflict, but they always assert themselves with great insistence near the close.

Jesus suffered!

And He did so for our sins. 

2. Jesus did not dodge duty.

In answer to Jesus’ pleas, the soldiers gave Him vinegar to drink.

When we first read this, we are tempted to suppose that because of the unnatural type of drink they offered, the men intended to insult Jesus.

The thus rank it among the taunts and sufferings Jesus endured at the crucifixion.

A closer look at the historical customs, however, shows us that vinegar was the common drink of the Roman army and was most likely to be at hand at that moment.

We read elsewhere that Jesus was offered a different drink but refused it.

He was offered a medicated potion, wine mixed with myrrh, to deaden His pain.

Jesus refused to meet death in a state of intoxication.

Jesus refused because He would conquer sin not through the flesh but through the Spirit.

Had He escaped from pain and suffering through some kind of medication, He would not have borne our sins completely.

The vinegar or sour wine He received was merely a refreshing drink and did not in any way deaden the pain or make Him suffer less for our sins.

3. Calvary was not a pretty place.

The Christmas story is beautiful, but not so much the message of the cross.

The story of Jesus’ crucifixion is ugly and painful.

It is easy to say “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem,” but it is not so enticing to stand at the foot of the cross and hear the Saviour cry out.

Psalm 69 is certainly a foreshadowing of this dreadful event.

Jesus identified with it.

When He quoted it, He was saying that He Himself was the very heartbeat of this ancient Hebrew hymn.

Jesus identified Himself with all the hope Israel ever had in the Messiah.

His cry became a sign in a dry and thirsty land.

Have you ever seen how truly ugly all Jesus’ suffering is and how we should shudder afresh every time we read the story?

Because Jesus suffered, millions have been blessed with personal salvation and strength for everyday living.

Even in His cry for thirst, we see Him bearing our sins in His own body on the cross.

“I thirst,” was the only cry of physical weakness Jesus uttered, but there is something most sincere and attractive about one who is not ashamed to voice his weakness and pain.

Jesus’ action gives us the key His saviour hood.

He was afflicted in all our afflictions.

The cross was ugly and painful.

People would gladly banish it from their thinking if they could.

Calvary remains as the time of sin’s victory, yet sins defeat, of God’s defeat, yet God’s victory, for God’s Son defeated sin once and for all by dying in humankind’s place and rising from the dead. 


Do you thirst?

Do you desire to be someone better than you are?

If so, God can meet that need.

To the Samaritan woman, Jesus said in John 4:14 (AMP)

14 But whoever drinks the water that I give him will never be thirsty again. But the water that I give him will become in him a spring of water [satisfying his thirst for God] welling up [continually flowing, bubbling within him] to eternal life.”

This is the gift of eternal life.

When we have met the Master, surrendered to Him, and been mastered by Him, our lives will be different.

We will no longer thirst, for our needs will have been met and God’s Spirit will have moved into our hearts.

The message of the cross is that Christ can quench thirst because He once thirsted.

He can make alive because He conquered death.

We must remember, however, that the Christian life is not an abundance of material things but rather a realisation of spiritual things.

When Jesus brought the woman at the well face to face with her sin, she tried to change the question.

Which mountain should people worship on, Mount Gerizim with the Samaritans or Mount Zion with the Jews?

Do you change the question when faced with looking at yourself?

Jesus reminded her that the hour was coming when people would worship at neither mountain.

He reminded her that “God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).

When He declared to her that He was the Messiah, she received Him and went off to town to tell others of her great discovery.

You, too, will experience this joy if you will surrender to Him who has the water of eternal life.

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

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Gary Hoban

Refinery Life Church Australia

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