It is rather ironic that the “Living Water” is thirsty. With our bodies being up to 60% water a spiritual body requires 100% Living Water. No doubt that the toll of crucifixion was wearing Jesus down to the very core of His physical being. Was this the only things going on?
Crucifixion was meant to be an arduously torturous death and Jesus was feeling every ounce of its painful execution. Jesus had been wearied through the beatings He endured over a period of several hours with no food or drink for physical strength. Yet He endured the physical pain of dehydration to make the Living Water available to all.
Painful Cry. Jesus was experiencing extreme dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include dry sticky mouth and extreme thirst, along with rapid heart rate and skin that doesn’t “bounce back”. Jesus had sweat out drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, experienced severe blood loss from the scourging, beatings and nails in His hands and feet which would have most certainly aided in dehydrating His body. His dire thirst is evidence that His body was craving water to help compensate for the blood loss. This is congruent with Psalm 22: 14-15
“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth”.
Prophetic Cry. After crying out they gave him a sponge dipped in vinegar, which fulfilled a prophecy from Psalm 69:21
To quench my thirst
they gave me vinegar to drink.
Jesus’ experience of thirst on the cross was certainly a common physical condition incurred by those who were sentenced to die on a cross. But there is no doubt that His death by crucifixion was part of God’s plan in bringing the Eternal Living Water to everyone who would drink. In His conversation with the woman at the well, Jesus said that He could give the water that would be like a flowing fountain (John 4: 14). By dehydrating Himself, He made it possible for us to drink from Him and be satisfied. His pouring out allowed us to be poured into.
George Lockhart is a missionary with Vision 2 Hear and serves as student pastor at New Vision Church in Fayetteville, GA