After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture),”I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. (John 19:28-29)
I used to tell people that the only good reason for running is if someone was chasing you. Lately I have had to eat my words as over the last few years I have taken up running. Although I don’t find much joy in the moment of running, I admit that I do enjoy the feeling afterward. The feeling of accomplishment. The feeling of energy from being healthier. The feeling of joy knowing I am taking care of the body that God has blessed me with.
However, what I do not like is the feeling I get when I forget my water bottle while running. I seem to do this all the time! I will have everything ready for my trip to the gym or the trails. My iPod will be charged. I will have my shoes laced up just right. All stretched out. I get out there running and realize that I have left my water bottle sitting on the kitchen counter. It doesn’t take long before I begin to get thirsty. One mile down and I am thirsty. Two miles down and I am looking for a stream to dunk my head in. Three miles and I am parched and just want to quit.
Once I get back I have an overwhelming desire to just drink. I thirst. Certainly not the same as Jesus did after a long couple days of trials, beatings, crucifixion and the punishment for our sins. I am sure He was physically thirsty. But I also think there was more to it than that. I believe that Jesus also thirsted to be back at His Father’s side. He had poured out all Himself and now He desired what was of upmost importance, to be with His Father, to see the restoration of all of creation, for the Kingdom to come as it will on the last day when Jesus returns in glory. Jesus thirsted with a desire that is deeper than just quenching a parched mouth, but His desire was, and is, for something much more and much greater.
And so when we thirst, we too desire more than just water that brings relief to a dry throat. We desire for water that will cause us never to be thirsty again. We desire water that springs up in us to eternal life. We desire water that will flow out of our hearts as a river of living water. What we desire is the water that washes us clean of sin.
Our thirst drives us back to the waters of our baptism where we know that we have been washed in not just simple water, but with water combined with the true Word of God. When we thirst we go to the waters of baptism where we find that we are given water that wells up to eternal life. When we thirst we come to the living water of baptism where we meet our Lord and Savior and find our desires met. When we thirst we find a word of Desire.