John 19:28 - The Fifth of the Seven Words of Christ from the Cross.

John 19:28; The Fifth of the Seven Words of Christ from the 

I Thirst

John 19:28 (KJV)  After this, Jesus knowing that all things were 
now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I 

This is the fifth of seven utterances of Jesus as He hung upon 
the cross, sometimes called the Seven Words. No gospel writer 
mentions more than three, nor less than one, of these utterances. 
Arranged in point of time the seven "utterances" are as follows: 
1. "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (v. 
2. "Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in 
paradise" (v. 43). 
3. "Woman, behold thy son! ... Behold thy mother!" (see on John 
4. "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matt. 27:46; 
Mark 15:34). 
5. "I thirst" (John 19:28).
6. "It is finished" (see on John 19:30).
7. "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" (see on Luke 
23:46). [SDA Commentary] 

The Gospels report seven utterances by Jesus as He hung on the 
cross. Three of these can be assigned to the first three hours, between 
9 a.m. and 12 noon. Four can be assigned to the next three hours, 
12-3 p.m., during which the scene was shrouded in darkness. 
It is traditional during Good Friday services to meditate on 
these seven utterances. Surely there is much here for us to ponder. 
[Victor Bible Background Commentary] 

The first word out of the darkness (My God, my God, why hast 
thou forsaken me?) impresses us with the deity of Jesus. This second 
word out of the darkness (I thirst) reminds us of His humanity. 
[Victor Bible Background Commentary re Mar.15:34] 

John recorded the fifth saying, I am thirsty. The wording 
indicated that Jesus was fully conscious and was aware of fulfilling the 
details of prophecies. [Bible Knowledge Commentary] 

I thirst; it was foretold that his tongue should cleave to his 
jaws, . (Matthew Henry's Commentary) 

When John was writing his gospel, round about A.D. 100, a 
certain tendency had arisen in religious and philosophical thought, 
called gnosticism. One of its great tenets was that spirit was 
altogether good and matter altogether evil. Certain conclusions followed. 
One was that God, who was pure spirit, could never take upon himself 
a body, because that was matter, and matter was evil. They 
therefore taught that Jesus never had a real body. They said that he was 
only a phantom. They said, for instance, that when Jesus walked, his 
feet left no prints on the ground, because he was pure spirit in a 
phantom body.  
They went on to argue that God could never really suffer, and 
that therefore Jesus never really suffered but went through the whole 
experience of the Cross without any real pain. When the Gnostics thought 
like that, they believed they were honouring God and honouring Jesus; 
but they were really destroying Jesus. If he was ever to redeem man, 
he must become man. He had to become what we are in order to make 
us what he is. That is why John stresses the fact that Jesus felt 
thirst; he wished to show that he was really human and really underwent 
the agony of the Cross. John goes out of his way to stress the real 
humanity and the real suffering of Jesus. [Barclay Commentary] 

Thirst was one of the most distressing circumstances attending 
the crucifixion. (Barnes' Notes) 

The fatigue which he had undergone, the grief he had felt, the 
heat of the day, and the loss of blood, were the natural causes of 
this thirst. This he would have borne without complaint; but he 
wished to give them the fullest proof of his being the Messiah, by 
distinctly marking how everything relative to the Messiah, which had been 
written in the prophets, had its complete fulfilment in him. (Adam 
Clarke Commentary) 

I thirst. The physical need of the sufferer asserted itself, the 
only outward indication he permitted to escape his lips. Even so, he 
stated a fact rather than voicing an appeal. [Wycliffe Bible 

Psalm 22:15 describes this dimension of Jesus' sufferings: "My 
strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of 
my mouth." Physically the cross not only drained what strength 
remained in Jesus' body after the brutal whipping He had received back in 
Jerusalem, but had also instigated a raging fever that further dried out 
His body tissues. This may suggest a reason why Christ called for a 
drink. It was not to alleviate the thirst or relieve the suffering. 
Most likely it was to momentarily relieve the dryness that His next, 
triumphant words might be uttered clearly and triumphantly. 
Despite the limits imposed by taking on our human nature, Christ 
prevailed. [Victor Bible Background Commentary re Mar.15:34] 

"I thirst" spoke both of physical and spiritual agony, for 
Christ suffered the torment of hell for our sins. He thirsted that we 
might never thirst. [Wiersbe Expository Outlines]